How to Tell if a Main Sewer Line Clog is Covered by Home Insurance

Most basic home insurance plans won't cover a main sewer line clog, but homeowners can request a sewage backup rider as a policy add-on if their carrier offers it.
Written by Brady Klopfer
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
One of the worst things that can happen to your home is a clog in the sewage line, which can cause disaster to your home and your wallet. A clog in the sewage line is exactly what it sounds like: when your septic lines (which run from your sinks, showers, and toilets) get clogged up, and liquid and sewage can no longer flow through them.
Main sewer line clogs are not covered by most home insurance policies, but t’s always worth checking to see if your home insurance plan covers such an issue. Insurance broker
is here to make it easy for you. Here's our guide to check if your insurance covers a main sewer line clog.

What happens when there's a main sewer line clog?

Unlike with a drain clog, it is very difficult to notice a main sewer line clog when it first happens, as there will be no noticeable symptoms.
Instead, it usually isn’t noticed until
strikes: the pressure from the clog builds up, either resulting in a burst pipe and sewage flooding, or the sewage systems starts to drain itself in reverse and comes out your sinks and showers.
Long story short: a main sewer line clog is not a pretty picture. If you have one, or you’re trying to plan ahead in case this emergency occurs, you’ll likely want to know whether or not the incident is covered by your home insurance before you call a plumber.
A burst sewer line can cost thousands of dollars to repair, and the damage done to your house if there is a sewage flood can be much worse.
Key Takeaway: Main sewer line clogs show no symptoms, and are usually only noticed once they cause burst pipes or sewage waste starts coming up the drains. The damage can be extensive, and cost upwards of thousands of dollars to repair.
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Check your home insurance policy

Some home insurance policies have what’s known as a sewage backup rider. While this is a rare feature in home insurance plans, many companies offer it, though you almost always have to pay extra for this kind of coverage.
One way to see if your home insurance plan will cover a clogged main sewer line is to look at your plan (either online through your home insurance company’s website, or on any pamphlet sent to you in the mail). If you see that you have sewage backup rider in your home insurance policy, then you should be covered well in the event of a main sewer line clog.

Contact your home insurance company

You can also figure out if your main sewer line clog is covered by your policy by contacting your home insurance provider. This is a great thing to do, because even if you don’t have a sewage backup rider, your home insurance plan may cover some damage that occurs to your house due to sewage flooding.
You can contact your home insurance company by visiting an agent’s office, calling the company, or contacting online support (most insurance companies have live chat options on their website).
By contacting your home insurance company and letting them know exactly what you’re looking for, they’ll be able to tell you if your policy covers a main sewer line clog, and if so, the extent of the coverage.
If you’re trying to be preemptive about a main sewer line clog (which is especially smart if you know that the septic system and pipes are old and not well-maintained), then you should ask your home insurance provider about a sewage backup rider.
This type of coverage is usually only an extra $100-200 annually. It’s a pretty small fee to pay each year to help cover you in the event of a large and very costly main sewer line clog.
Key Takeaway: To find out how covered you are in case of a main sewer line clog, contact your home insurance provider. If need be, you can ask for a sewage backup rider for an extra $100 to $200 each year.
Clogs in your home’s sewage system are no fun at all. However, the hassle and stress of the damage can at least be partially alleviated if you have a home insurance plan that covers a main sewer line clog. Always check with your home insurance company to see if you do, so that you’ll know if you’re covered in the event of such an incident.


How do you know if your main sewer line is clogged?

The best way to get a diagnosis on clogged sewer line is to contact a plumber, but there are a few signs that there may be a main sewer line clog that you can still look out for. If you notice more than one drain is slow, gurgling, or smells bad, there could be a clog.
You might also have a clog if you notice water is backed up or appearing in strange places when you're using other water fixtures. For example, if you flush your toilet and water rises from your shower drain, you could have a clog.

How much does it cost to clear a main sewer line clog?

If you don't have the proper insurance, a main sewer line clog can cost anywhere from $100-800, depending on where the clog is located and what techniques are necessary to unclog it.
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