Sewer Backup Leaves More than Just a Visual Mess

April 12, 2005

Backups of raw sewage through the drains in one’s home or business can be a nasty experience. While they occur infrequently, they can be very costly.

Most homeowner and business insurance policies will not cover a sewer backup without sewer backup coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

“Obtaining an insurance rider on a homeowners or business policy would cover such damage if it occurs,” said Loretta Worters, vice president, I.I.I. “Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost- usually $40-$50 on an annual insurance policy,” she said.

Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral –the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street — and the building.

The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part, which may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system contributing to the problem.

Homeowners and business insurance does not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance will cover one’s losses in the event of a flood. Flood insurance is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is sold via the more than 80 participating insurance companies that write and service policies through a special arrangement with the Federal Insurance Mitigation Association (FIMA), as well as through thousands of insurance agents nationwide.

Contact an insurance agent for details or call the NFIP at 1-800-638-6620.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.