A plumbing emergency that results in thousands of dollars in damage will stress you mentally and financially. Fortunately, depending on the situation, homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost for repairs and replacements. It’s important to know which issues are covered and which will need to be paid for out of pocket. While not every insurance plan is the same, many feature similar general provisions when it comes to plumbing problems. We’ll go over the basics, but you should contact your insurance agent to discuss your policy in-depth.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover pipe replacement?
It depends on your situation. Generally, when the damage to your pipes isn’t due to negligence, insurance will cover the costs for repair or replacement. The insurance will cover sudden issues such as a pipe bursting due to a fire or another environmental issue.
When you file your claim, however, an adjuster from the insurance company will usually want to visit your house and inspect the damage. If they find that your pipes were old and corroded, you claim will most likely be denied. Typically, homeowner’s insurance will not cover pipe replacement when it is found that the damage could have been prevented.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover clogged drains?
Unless a pipe bursts from a newly clogged drain, insurance likely will not cover it. If it is found that the clog has been building for a while or was the result of neglect (e.g., you tried to put the leftover Christmas ham down the garbage disposal), you will be left to foot the repair cost.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover sewer line repairs?
Potentially. Insurance will usually cover damage from events such as:
Hail, wind, and fire
Falling objects (tree branches, parts of the house)
Unfortunately, they will deny claims caused by:
Preventable sewer line damage. This includes things such as corrosion, damage from tree roots and pest infestation.
Sewage backup. When your line backs up and the sewage causes damage, it is typically not covered. You may be able to purchase a special “rider” to ensure you’re safe, though.
There are many add-ons you can purchase for your insurance policy that provide extra coverage. They are called riders and can include protection against:
Sump pump backup. As we’ve seen, sewage backup isn’t normally covered, but most insurance companies will have rider options to cover these issues.
Flooding-related issues. Sometimes, flooding can cause problems for your plumbing as well. Pipes can burst, back up or be damaged by the rising waters.
Mold infestation. Once there is water damage in a wall or beneath the floor, mold can grow and spread. This can be an extremely expensive problem to fix, so you should inquire about a mold protection rider.
Preventing future plumbing problems
Proper maintenance is the key to preventing costly plumbing emergencies. Have your pipes and sewer line inspected yearly to stay informed about their current conditions. With current technology, a camera can be snaked through pipes, issues can be assessed quickly and dealt with before major problems arise. Sewer cleaning is also a great preventative solution that provides lasting results. Since the major component deciding whether or not an insurance company will cover a plumbing issue is if it would have been preventable with proper maintenance, you can’t afford to slack up on your upkeep.
It’s important to note that your policy may have significantly different provisions from what we’ve stated above, so please look over your policy with an agent to be as informed as possible. If you find yourself in a plumbing emergency and need help, Bieg Plumbing is here for you 24 hours a day. We’ve served the St. Louis area for more than 60 years and have seen it all. Contact us today to schedule a visit from one of our trusted professionals.
Pipes ran out of luck? Call in the red truck.