A busted sump pump can flood the basement it is supposed to protect with water collected in the sump basin. A septic tank calamity can do the same thing to your garden and home but with smelly and unhealthful sewage that’s been gathering in the tank. Either disaster can cost thousands of dollars to remedy, which you are responsible. Since such situations occur on your property, home insurance should cover it, but there are some instances when it doesn't. Here's what you should know.
Your insurance may typically cover issues with your pump or tank if they’re caused by sudden and unexpected accidents—if lightning strikes your home and fire damages your septic line, for example. However, your insurance does not cover incidents caused by wear and tear, or carelessness. If you have not properly maintained your septic line and it deteriorates, or a sump pump that is improperly installed breaks, such cases are not covered by homeowners insurance.
Many policies do not cover damage to systems outside the physical structure of the home even if that system is part of the property. Since septic tanks and lines are usually located in the yard and not within the house, they would not be covered under any circumstances.
Actual coverage varies by company and policy so you would have to check with your agent to see what applies.
Water Backup Coverage
If a sump pump or septic tank failure is a possibility on your property, you can ensure that your home insurance covers it by adding an endorsement or rider that takes care of water backups. The cost of this addition is generally low, around $25 to $100 per year, depending on the risk and the limits you choose. For instance, if you’re in an area that’s likely to flood, your premium would be higher than if your house was on top of a hill.
Such an endorsement also covers problems you may not have thought of. This can include your washing machine line breaking with water covering your ground floor, or your child plugging all the drains of a second-floor bathtub for fun with water from it flooding both floors of your home. Water backup problems can happen to anyone.
Loss of Use
Problems with sump pumps will not normally render your home uninhabitable. Repairs can be underway while you live in your home. The same may not be true of a septic tank problem, which may prevent your toilets from being used or if raw sewage around your home prevents entry to living areas. In such cases, you would need to live somewhere else as the repairs are being done. If Loss of Use is part of your Water Backup Endorsement, your expenses for living in a hotel temporarily would be covered by insurance.
There’s only one way to be sure if your sump pump and septic tank are addressed by your home insurance. Talk to the insurance professionals such as the agents at Kyle Insurance Group - Affordable American Insurance. We can answer all your questions and offer options for insuring these facilities if you currently do not have coverage for them.