Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Replacing a Broken Sewer Line?


You might be surprised by what homeowner’s insurance covers and what it doesn’t cover. You really should look at the fine print of your insurance policy. But in general, does homeowners’ insurance cover replacing a broken sewer line?

Call the Plumber

Although, there are many great YouTube How-To plumbing videos, there are certain problems that you might not want to try to fix yourself. Why? Because you might not have the tools, equipment or expertise to find and fix the problem properly.

For example, a broken sewer line – if you are hooked up to the municipal sewer line, the problem might be on your property or it might be on city property. It might be your fault, it might be the city’s fault. Either way, calling the plumber might be the best way to handle a broken sewer line.

Broken Sewer Line

Does your homeowner’s insurance policy cover certain plumbing problems? Yes. It probably covers leaky roofs, burst pipes and toilets overflowing. There are two primary issues that will determine coverage: 1. Is it on your property and 2. Was it your fault?

Of course, with the broken sewer line, the location of the offending pipe is very important. If it is outside your property line, then the insurance company will not feel any reason to pay for it. You would need to have the city pay the bill.

If the break occurred on or under your property, then you might have a case. Of course, the plumber has special equipment to discover the location. Then, the next issue will be causation.

Who Was at Fault?

Usually, insurance will not cover you if you were negligent. How can one be negligent with respect to plumbing? There is the concept of depreciation.

All physical entities, including pipes have a normal life cycle. They suffer from normal wear and tear. What was the condition of your pipes when the break occurred?

The evidence will be the remaining pipes that are not broken. If they are in a state of disrepair, then you might be deemed to be negligent. You did not properly maintain your plumbing and your negligence caused the break.

Most insurance policies don’t cover negligent home-owners. Rusty or thin pipes are a red flag for an insurance claims adjuster. Therefore, you should be pro-active and get plumbing problems fixed.

Read Insurance Policy

If the sewer line broke due to poor workmanship or a manufacturer defect, then your damage might be covered by insurance. The insurance company will cover the sewer line breakage and might sue the carpenter or manufacturer. If you are covered, the insurance company might pay you for water damage and clean-up costs.

So, read your insurance policy. If you really want to add coverage, you can. This is called Named Coverage. Add the hazards that you are most worried about to get the best fitting homeowner’s insurance policy.