Does Water and Sewer Insurance Cover Clearing Sewer Lines?

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An odd gurgling sound comes from your bathtub when you flush the toilet, and the kitchen sink drains unusually slowly. If more than one of your home’s drains is having issues emptying out, your sewer line likely has become clogged.
What causes a clog? It could be anything from grease accumulation to hair to tree roots or even that plastic toy dinosaur your son flushed last summer. If the clog is in the sewer line going from your home to a public or private disposal, repair could get expensive. Is getting your sewer line cleared covered by your service line coverage from your homeowners insurance?

Unclogging the sewer may be covered

If you’ve played it safe and added an endorsement for service line coverage, otherwise known as water and sewer insurance, then unblocking your sewer line is likely to be covered. That can be for any unexpected clogs, such as a toy, tree roots, or an accumulation in the drain.
Although most insurers offer service line coverage as an endorsement on a homeowners insurance policy, it is an optional coverage and not standard for any plan. You must have the coverage in place at the time of loss or you can expect your claim to be denied.

How it’s done

Clearing a sewer line sounds like messy business, doesn’t it? There’s potential for a fragrant mess to clean up afterward, but a professional plumber is often able to clear the line without causing too much of an issue inside or outside your home.
In many situations, it’s possible to clear a blockage using a drain auger through an access port or cleanout outside your home. The auger snakes its way through the clog, breaking down the buildup until water begins to flow once more. In some cases, tree roots or hardened material may be blocking the drain, requiring a cutting attachment along with the auger.
If the blockage simply won’t be removed with any less intrusive means, the service line may need to be excavated and cleared or replaced. If that’s the case, there could be massive disruption to your lawn or driveway. Luckily, service line coverage includes all of these situations.

What does it cost to clear a sewer line?

If you don’t have service line coverage on your homeowners insurance policy, the cost could range from around $100 for a plumber to quickly remove the clog with an auger to thousands of dollars if the line needs to be repaired or replaced from the outside. The average cost to replace a septic or sewer line is around $5,000. Your repair could be anywhere in that range, depending on the extent of the blockage.

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