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Understanding Insurance

Are Broken Sewer Pipes Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

There’s a lot going on under your home that helps to keep it connected to the outside world. Chief among those systems are underground sewer pipes that play a critical role in your home’s day-to-day operations. When the unexpected happens and damage occurs to your sewer pipes, you need to know if home insurance covers sewer line replacement because repairs will need to be made quickly — and they can get costly.

So, is sewer line replacement covered by homeowners insurance? The truth is, it depends what caused the problem and whether the damage to the line is considered a “covered loss.” Here’s a look at a few common causes of damage to sewer lines that are typically covered under a standard homeowners policy:

  • Lightning
  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Windstorms
  • Vehicles
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Explosions
  • Damage from aircraft

When Does Home Insurance Cover Sewer Line Replacement?

Sewer lines are typically covered in two specific ways — when uncontrollable natural forces or acts caused by others occur and damage or destroy them. Getting to the bottom of how the problem occurred is the only way to understand if your insurance company will cover you when you file a claim.

Here are a few examples of acts of God that are covered by your homeowners insurance sewer line protection:

  • A tree falls in your yard and ruptures your sewer line.
  • Large hailstones destroy a sewer line buried in the back yard.
  • Lightning strikes an object on your property and a resulting fire damages the sewer line.

These are a few examples of acts caused by others that are usually covered by a standard homeowners policy:

  • An out-of-control vehicle strikes your property and breaks the sewer line.
  • Vandals start a fire in your yard and the damage destroys your sewer line.
  • A neighbor is trimming a tree and a branch falls on your property, crushing the sewer line.

Homeowners insurance coverage can help cover the costs of sewer line replacement under certain circumstances. But to be sure that you’ve got the coverage you need, you may want to pick up additional service line coverage, which includes sewer and other service line protection. It covers a wider array of issues and losses — more than just your sewer line. You’ll get coverage for buried water and natural gas lines and electric cables among others.

When Does Home Insurance Not Cover Sewer Line Replacement?

Water can do major damage to your home. There are many instances when your standard homeowners policy may not offer the coverage you need to keep your home fully protected. For instance, are tree roots in the sewer line covered by insurance?

Or, suppose your sewer backs up after a storm because the sump pump failed during a power outage. You may not be able to file a claim to cover damages without added sump pump failure and water backup coverage. If you live in an area that sees a lot of rainfall annually or if your home’s got an older sump pump, you may want to consider this add-on coverage. Be aware however, that damage to sump pumps due to wear and tear will not be covered.

Is sewer line repair covered by homeowners insurance? In most cases, if the issue doesn’t qualify as a covered loss, you probably won’t be allowed to file a claim. Here’s a list of sewer line-related problems that a typical homeowners policy will not cover:

  • A tree root breaks into your sewer line and blocks flow, resulting in water damage to your home.
  • Your dated sewer line is corroded and collapses which results in sewer backup.
  • Extended periods of extreme cold freeze and destroy your sewer line.
  • Wear and tear erodes your sewer line, resulting in a significant sewage leak.

How to Submit a Claim for Sewer Line Damage

Although it’s never something you look forward to, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim with American Family one day. When the unexpected happens and your sewer line suffers a loss, our claims professionals will help you efficiently process the claim. There are several ways you can file a claim with us:

While you’re considering your sewer line coverage options, be sure to connect with your American Family Insurance agent. They can help you understand exactly how you’re covered and point you to coverage options that fit your home’s exact needs, like optional flood insurance if necessary. With the right coverage, you can find real peace-of-mind with the knowledge that everything you’ve worked so hard for is well protected.

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