Do You Need Sewer Line Insurance?

sewer line insurance
A lot of home owners don’t realize that they are responsible for the water and sewer pipes that lead from their home to the utility pipes on the street. This has created an opportunity for a variety of businesses to offer sewer line insurance. Basically, this insurance is supposed to protect you should you have any problem with the lines feeding out from your house. Those who have septic tanks may get offers for similar services. The question that many people ask themselves when they are first made aware of this is, “Do I really need to get sewer pipe insurance?”

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not it makes sense for you to get this type of coverage. If you are living in a home that is still relatively new, the likelihood of having external pipe problems is minimal. In this instance, it probably doesn’t make much sense to pay for this service. On the other hand, there are a few situations where you might want to at least consider purchasing this type of insurance:

Older Home

If you reside in an older home where the piping has never been replaced, then it might make sense to purchase this insurance. Water and sewer pipes usually have a life expectancy of about 50 years. If your home is getting to be this age, there’s a chance that you may have some issues with your pipes.

Trees on Property

If you have any trees with elaborate root systems on your property that are close to where your pipes are, this can be another reason to consider this insurance. The roots of trees have a way of fitting themselves into the pipes which can cause all types of problems, requiring them to be replaced.

Other Houses Have Problems

Another indicator of whether it might be a good idea to get this insurance is if other homes in your area have had pipe problems. If your neighbors have had to dig up and replace their sewer pipes, it might indicate that you could have similar problems in the near future. This is especially true if you live in tract homes which were all built by the same builder.

If after considering the pros and cons, you decide that you do need sewer pipe insurance, there are a number of things that you need to look at when purchasing.

Do You Already Have It?

Before you go out and pay for insurance, make sure that you’re not already covered. Some homeowner’s insurance policies will include pipes in their overall insurance coverage. Simply call your local agent and ask if the pipes going from your house to the street are covered under your current policy.

If Not, Can Your Get a Rider?

If you find out that your current homeowners insurance doesn’t cover this, see if you can have it included on your insurance as a rider. It will be much less expensive to get it through your current homeowners insurance than to buy it from the water utility or another outside company that specializes in sewer protection.


If getting this isn’t possible with your current insurance company, consider self-insuring. In other words, create an emergency fund that can take care of not only a situation with your pipes, but the many other unexpected emergencies that can occur. It’s possible to buy insurance for almost anything these days, from airline crashes to zipline adventures, but trying to cover yourself from every possible thing that might happen can get quite expensive. Instead, self-insure by setting aside a savings account to place in money each month for emergencies so that you have the money if it does happen.

Understand the Fine Print

If you decide to go with an independent company that specializes in sewer insurance, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends that you carefully read the fine print. A lot of people first consider this when they receive something in the mail for inexpensive insurance that claims to cover water service pipes. The problem is that in the fine print they may exclude things such as Acts of God, normal wear and tear, faulty construction, etc. Basically, they exclude so many things that even if your pipes do have problems, they aren’t likely to pay for them due to all the exceptions. In other words, the policy is inexpensive because it really doesn’t cover anything. Before you decide to get it, know exactly what it is you’re getting.

For those who think that they might need this, you can find more discussion on this topic in the forums.

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Merz)

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5 Responses to Do You Need Sewer Line Insurance?

  1. I’m aware that the homeowners are responsible for their water and sewer pipe because a few years ago our water pipe had a leaked and we didn’t notice that one. Until when we received our water bill we was so shocked how huge the amount, we didn’t have any choice either to pay it or cut our water service.

  2. TC says:

    You cannot believe how many insurance policies you can buy. You think of anything and probably there is an insurance for it. For example, many companies offer boiler service contracts that include parts and labor. They don’t call it insurance, but it clearly is because you pay a yearly fee (premium) and you are protected for anything that happens to your boiler. Actually, it is better than insurance since it covers mechanical breakdowns as well.

    I bought a different type of insurance for sewers. My problem was that the main sewer pipes goes under my house. So, I asked my solicitor to arrange an insurance (on top of my home insurance) to pay for any damages to my house due to problems with those pipes. I paid a nominal one off premium because the water company is responsible for the maintenance and my home insurance cover for flood damages anyway.

    So, when you are considering any type of insurance you need to look at a few points. First of all, do you have another policy that covers the damages? Secondly, would another party be responsible for your losses (like the utilities companies), Thirdly, how much is it? Fourthly, how much could the possible losses be and could you cover it out of your pocket if the worst happened.

  3. stacy says:

    I never even heard of this before. I’m not sure if I’m happy that I learned it exists, or now I’m going to be paranoid that my sewer pipes are going to get damaged.

  4. Jeff says:

    A good question that opens the door to a better understanding of the Home Insurance Policy – What is, and is not covered, how claims are assessed and the concept of Sudden and Accidental.

  5. greg says:

    If you have an older house with big rooted trees, I would consider getting it. I had to spend thousands when the roots invaded our pipes and they needed to be replaced. it was a nightmare.

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