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Sewer Backup Coverage: Deciding If It’s Worth It

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

When water overflows in a house, this means that the sewer has been blocked, and that non-stop rainfall or poor plumbing system may have caused it. When water emerges from your pipes, expect possible damage to the property. If you are renting out your property, there may be a bigger need to consider having sewer backup coverage. Let’s find out if it will be worth your investment. After all, having unnecessary additions to your policy might lessen the opportunity of spending your savings on more worthy causes.

Image source: FS Local Blog

Keep in mind that flood insurance does not usually cover sewer backups, and the homeowner must either buy it separately or request for an endorsement to an existing policy. Some of the main causes of sewer backups include:

  • Aging sewage systems – may depend on several factors such as materials used, how the pipes are installed, or if the property is near or located in flood-prone areas, or exposed to chemicals and other harmful substances
  • Storm water and raw sewage systems combined into the same pipeline
  • Blockages due to plant roots, shrubs, and trees; these can penetrate the sewer system and cause extensive damage
  • Water in basement or lower floors
  • A major rainstorm

With these factors in mind, evaluate the location of your property. Is it near trees or flood-prone areas? How old is your sewer system? On average, sewer systems in the US are over 30 years old. This contributes to increased sewer backups, backflows, and floods. Better yet, ask a plumbing expert to inspect your pipes if you think something is blocking the flow of water and to make an informed suggestion about your piping system.

Even if your property is located on top of a hill, this does not mean that it is already immune to sewer backup problems. Take time to evaluate your sewer backup rider. Compare costs and make sure that the amount you need to pay is not excessive, nor it is too cheap. If it is too low, chances are the restrictions are too many or the conditions may be difficult to meet if it is time to make a claim. Lessen the risks associated with sewer backups. Remember that your decision will impact not just your pocket, but the individuals living in your property as well.