March 25, 2020 by

No one wants to discover a broken sewer pipe on their property, but it happens.  A major break can do a lot of damage to a home, undermining the foundations or even contaminating it with dangerous bacteria, so it’s important to get it fixed as soon as it’s noticed.  Unfortunately, the cleanup -and the repairs afterward- aren’t cheap.

So, one question we often hear is “Will my homeowner’s insurance cover this?”  And the answer is: maybe.  It depends on a number of factors, which we can quickly outline here.

Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover the Costs of a Broken Sewer Pipe?

  1. Who’s your insurer?

Every insurance company has their own policies when it comes to homeowner’s insurance.  Accordingly, most of them have different exceptions to their policy as well.  If possible, the best bet is to find your original insurance documentation and see what it has to say about their coverage policies.

  1. Have you bought any extra coverage?

It’s also typical for insurance companies to offer a “basic” homeowner’s policy, but then also have add-on policies for more specific situations.  For example, a basic policy might not cover weather-related flood damage, but you could buy a rider.  Sewage damage is another situation that is often covered by extra policies, rather than by the standard coverage.

  1. How high is your deductible? 

As with medical insurance, most homeowner’s insurance policies include a deductible which must be paid first, before the insurance policy kicks in.  So, if your deductible is higher than the cleanup and repair costs (which is rare but can happen) then it won’t be covered even if you have appropriate insurance.

  1. How did the pipe break?

Here’s where it can get really complicated.  Sometimes insurance companies will be more interested in the underlying cause than the pipe itself.  For example, if there was an earthquake, and the quake broke the pipe, many insurance companies would simply consider it earthquake damage – which they might or might not cover.  On the other hand, if it was caused by accident or error, there’s a higher chance that it’s covered.

Our Team Can Help

In short, it really does depend.  If a sewer line breaks under your property, your best bet is to contact our experienced professionals at Roto-Rooter who can repair the pipe as soon as possible.