River water being pumped out of flooded house

Will Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Leak?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most sewer system backups are not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. The typical homeowners policy will cover the damage resulting from a burst pipe or washing machine hose. It will also cover the rain damage that results when a hurricane lifts the roof off a house and lets the rain in. However, if a sewer or drain backs up, homeowners are only covered if they have a special endorsement. Moreover, if a home endures damage as a result of a rise in the outside water level (which includes rain runoff, storm surges, or overflowing rivers), homeowners policies provide no coverage. For this, homeowners must turn to flood insurance, a government-backed policy.

NOTE: Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their main sewer line, which is the pipeline that runs between their house and the municipality’s sewer main.