Do You Need Water and Sewer Insurance for Your Home?

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Sewer pipe (Photo: @carlo_vstek via Twenty20)
Plumbing issues are some of the costliest repairs a homeowner can incur. This is especially so when the issues are due to unexpected damages. Water and sewer insurance can assist with the costs associated with faulty plumbing and backups.
The coverage not only protects the inside of your house, but also the pipes leading outside and into your property. You may be wondering if you need water and sewer insurance for your home. Here are a few things to consider.

What is water and sewer insurance?

Water and sewer insurance covers costs associated with damage to your water and sewer lines and the damage caused by the faulty lines such as sewer backup. Policy coverage typically includes the following:
  • Excavation costs
  • Line locates
  • Blockage locates
  • Seal and joint replacement and repair
  • Clearing sewer lines
  • Pipe cutting
  • Pipe repair and replacement
  • Backfilling
  • Fusing and welding
  • Lodging expenses
  • Sewage cleanup
  • Damage to personal goods due to sewage backup
  • Workmanship guarantees through licensed contracted professionals

Is water and sewer insurance part of my homeowners policy?

Water and sewer insurance is probably not part of your homeowners insurance policy. It is usually added on as a rider that is specifically designed for extra protection for your home. It is important to review all available riders with your insurance company to ensure complete coverage of your property.
For instance, if you have flood insurance, don’t assume your water and sewer lines are covered because they usually are not. If you own an older home, repair costs can be elevated due to the age of pipes and systems, so water and sewer insurance could be even more valuable in this case. These are only a few examples of how this coverage can be beneficial.

What is not covered by water and sewer insurance for my home?

While this type of insurance covers damages to the pipes and other materials that runs through your home, through your yard, and into the road, it does not cover damages related to neglect or abuse. If you do not maintain your property and it can be proven you neglected to perform regular maintenance and repairs to your water and sewer lines, you run the risk of having your claim denied.
Signs of neglect and abuse include:

How can I prevent water and sewer line damage?

There are several things you can do to minimize water and sewer line repair. Considering maintenance is a key part in damage prevention, taking these extra precautions can assist in reducing claims:
  • Raise appliances to prevent damage from sewer or water backups
  • Clear drain backups
  • Install a sump pump to reduce damage from flooding
  • Install a backwater prevention valve to keep sewage from entering your home
  • Regularly schedule inspections and pumping of septic system
  • Look for early signs of water or sewer backup, such as standing water, wet carpets, sink or bath backup, slow draining, odors, rodents in your home, and sinking areas in your yard near sewer lines.
For as little as $150 a year, you can protect your bank account from thousands of dollars in water and sewer repair costs. While a backup in your sewer system may seem simple enough, it can lead to damage beyond your underground lines and into your home. Expenses can easily increase if furniture, flooring and other personal property is also affected. Adding water and sewer insurance for your home can go a long way in protecting your assets and pocketbook.