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Personal Insurance

Who pays to repair your service line?

By September 13, 2017February 7th, 2022No Comments

I’ll get to your sewer line in a moment, but by now I hope that most of you have had an explanation from your agent about sewer backup and sump pump failure.  If not, here are some basics. 

Sewer Backup – If your sewer were to backup into your basement, you can purchase coverage to insure not just items considered permanent fixtures like carpet, drywall, and appliances. You can also insure personal contents. Be careful because some carriers exclude personal property such as furniture or electronics.

Sump Pump Failure – If your sump pump were to fail (assuming you have one) then you can also purchase coverage. This is typically bundled with sewer backup coverage. Again, the coverage is similar. In this case a battery backup might be necessary so double check with your agent regarding the eligibility of your system.

The key regarding the above mentioned coverages is that these are endorsements.  You have to add them to your policy to secure the coverage.

Great news if you asked for these coverages or your agent insisted you add them.  But what forced your sewer to back up into your basement? You certainly don’t want it to happen again! This typically occurs because roots grow into the line or it is old and has collapsed or crumbled. But no big deal, the sewer line is the city or county’s responsibility, right? Yes, right up until it crossed into your yard! That’s right, if the roots or the collapse occurred in your yard that repair is now up to you.

And it’s expensive. Sometimes items like porches are torn apart to get to the line so the costs can rise quickly. But insurance covers it right? Yes and no. Just like the sewer backup and sump pump coverage, it is an endorsement. It is typically referred to as Service Line Coverage and not every carrier offers this coverage. It is becoming more commonplace but even if available, it is not automatically added.  You’ll need to double check with your agent to make sure they offer it and it is included on your policy.

If you have any questions regarding service line coverage or sewer backup/sump pump coverage, please call us at 513-444-2100 or email us at

Photo courtesy: Inge Knudson, Flickr.

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