Sewer backup is not only highly unsanitary, but the damage can be difficult and costly to repair. Standard home insurance policies do not generally cover sewer backup, meaning that if you find yourself ankle-deep in raw sewage, you may be on the hook for cleanup and repairs.
Fortunately, sewer backup coverage can be added to your existing insurance policy as an endorsement, and covers damage that results from water and sewage moving up through drain lines into your home. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, such as a valley or other low-lying area, then adding this coverage may be in your best interest.
Sewer backup insurance is designed to protect you from the financial burden that a sewer backup can bring. This type of insurance covers:
Your home will likely need a deep professional cleaning, especially if the sewage found its way into your ductwork. You may need to replace your drywall and flooring, as well as furniture and other personal items. Not only does this require a significant time commitment, but the cost can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars.
Coverage amounts and availability vary, ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. An insurance broker can help you determine how much sewer backup coverage you should carry for sufficient protection.
Water from sewer system backups is highly unsanitary, carrying dangerous bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illnesses in the members of your household. E. Coli, salmonella, and hepatitis are commonly found in sewer water, as well as toxic pesticides, residuals from pharmaceutical drugs, and protozoan, all of which pose a significant danger to people and pets. A mop and a bucket are far from sufficient for handling the mess; specialized training and equipment are needed to ensure that this type of contamination is taken care of properly.
Some homes never experience a sewer backup, while other homes are prone to them. Your home may be at risk if:
While there is no surefire way to ensure that you never experience a sewer backup, there are several preventative measures that you can take to significantly decrease your risk.
Different insurance companies offer different coverage options, deductibles, and limits, and comparing these products alone can be a daunting task. Rather than promoting a specific insurance company or type of coverage, an insurance broker can help you weigh your needs and options and build an insurance policy that will best fit your lifestyle and budget.