Ugh. Something does not smell good. What could that be? As your nose informs your brain that something is definitely not right at your place, you start to fear the worse – that your sewer has backed up or your sump pump has failed. And now you have a big mess on your hands – a big, expensive mess. It’s going to take a lot of work to get everything cleaned up and back to the way it’s supposed to be. Now your question is this – does Atlanta home insurance cover sewer backup? We’ll explain. And we’ll also give you some tips for preventing this smelly problem in the first place.
Does home insurance cover water that’s backed up through the sewer?
Typically no. Atlanta home insurance won’t cover damages from water that’s backed up from a sewer or drain. It’s one of those things that’s usually excluded from most home insurance policies.
However, you can add an endorsement to your home insurance policy so that this sort of unfortunate occurrence can be covered. (An endorsement being an addition or alteration to your home insurance coverage.) For an additional premium, you can get an endorsement that will cover water backup from the sewer and sump pump discharge.
The endorsement can cover:
1. Water or waterborne materials that backs up through a sewer or through a drain.
2. Water or waterborne materials that overflows from a sump even if the overflow or backup is from a mechanical failure of the sump pump. (The coverage will typically include damage to covered property, but it may exclude the sump pump itself and related equipment that has broken down.)
So, that’s an easy way to get coverage for sewer backup so that if you’re every faced with a smelly, icky sewer-related situation you could be covered. This kind of claim can be very expensive to clean up, after all.
What is not covered by the sewer backup coverage endorsement?
There is an important caveat to this coverage. It will usually not cover losses that result from owner negligence, like forgetting to turn on the sump pump. It will also typically not cover damages caused by a flood. So, keep that in mind when you’re getting sewer backup coverage.
Tips to prevent sewer backup coverage.
So, while you can get coverage for sewer backup, you can also take steps to prevent this from happening in the first place. Plumbing is one of those things that we take for granted until something goes wrong. Check out the following tips that can help you prevent a sewer backup.
1. Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet.
2. Don’t wash grease down the drain. Wait for the grease to cool and then throw it away with your regular garbage. (Grease can solidify as it cools, which can clog up pipes.)
3. Don’t wash oils down the drain – these can cause buildup in your pipes.
4. Remember that shrubs and trees can make their way into cracks in the sewer line. These cracks can allow debris to build up. If you keep having problems with tree roots, you might want to think about replacing your line with a plastic pipe.
5. Maintain your sewer system by having a trained, trustworthy professional give it a routine inspection.
What if I have water in my basement?
If you have water seeping into your basement, your problem might not be a sewer backup problem. It could be from poor soil grading around the exterior of your house. It’s really important to make sure that water drains away from the foundation of your house so that it doesn’t run straight into your basement, infiltrating your home and causing water damage.
So, that’s what you need to know about sewer backups and your home insurance. Sewer backup or sump pump failure is typically not covered by Atlanta home insurance, but you can add an endorsement for sewer backup coverage so that you can be protected against this type of loss. But it’s also important to take steps to prevent sewer backup in the first place. We often take our plumbing for granted, but sometimes things go wrong. And that’s where sewer backup coverage can save the day.
If you want to get quotes for your home insurance, we would be happy to help. Our team of insurance agents can help you get multiple quotes, and we’d be happy to talk about your coverage needs and answer your insurance questions. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.