Sewer backup in your home

November 26th, 2015 | in Claims


You’re sitting down to watch a movie and all of a sudden you hear water coming from down the hall. Jumping up, you run to the source only to find your toilet is overflowing and dirty toilet water has spread across the floor and is leaking down the vents. You shut the water off at the back of the toilet but it continues to overflow due to pressure. You call the plumber and then your insurance company, surely this is covered, right?

What is sewer back up?

Sewer backup occurs when the municipal drainage pipes are either blocked or overwhelmed and cannot adequately drain the system. There can be a number of reasons why this occurs but it usually happens after a heavy rainfall, snow melt or when the leaves have just fallen. The resulting backflow of water has no where to go but up – usually through your toilet, drains, bath tub etc.

Am I covered? Good question

Depending on the options you chose for your policy you might not be covered. Water damage is usually covered in a home policy and will cover things such as pipes bursting but sewer back up is often an optional coverage which must be selected.

Sewer backup claims are costly. Unlike a water pipe bursting, most of the property needs to be thrown out and replaced versus cleaning. Failure to properly remedy the situation can result in mold and of course bacterial growth. The average sewer backup claims can easily reach $50,000 or higher depending on the finishing of the home and where the backup occurs.

The solution

You can purchase sewer backup coverage as an option on your home insurance with Fraser Heights Insurance. Unlike some companies, we do not limit sewer backup damage by adding sub-limits; in some cases as low as $10,000. It is important to read your policy and understand what you are buying and also the types of losses that can occur. We have seen clients left short due to a sublimit that they didn’t know was there or didn’t fully understand the coverage.

Loss prevention

Many companies are even offering discounts for adding safety measures that can help mitigate the potential of sewer backup claims. Here are a few things to consider that can help prevent a claim:

  • Install sump pumps and check regularly to ensure they are in good working order

  • Install backflow valves installed in your home

  • Ensure that your property has good drainage with a slope that moves water away from your home

  • Have plugs ready for all drains and toilets

  • Keep all of your eavestroughs and downspouts clean and clear to allow proper drainage

To learn more about this and other coverages that affect your insurance please contact our office.