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Question DetailsAsked on 10/19/2016

If there is a busted pipe under your house and the water backs up into the home will the insurance policy fix it?

Will my insurance cover a broken pipe that causes water sewage to back up in my home? Also when it rains water comes into the dishwasher and sink.

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Hmmmmmm - depends on policy of course, so what I say may or may not apply in your particular case. Generally, and obviously you would have to read your policy AND all endorsements applicable to it (they will be listed on your renewal form, or agent or online website can give you a listing of the ones applicable to your policy and copies of the endorsements/amendments), backing up of water from outside through the sewer usually takes a separate endorsement (about $15-25/yr in our area, which is NOT in a floodplain or low-lying area so cheap) to be covered. Otherwise it is commonly treated as a groundwater or flooding event - the rainfall-related infiltrtion would NOT be covered under most modern homeowner's policies.


If the break is within the footprint of the house, some will cover flooding in the house, but not if the break is outside the footprint. Most will cover flooding damage due to blocked sewer pipe on your property (backup of your domestic sewage into the house because YOUR sewer line is blocked, NOT due to backup from the public system), but only if from running water in the house going into the line - if coming in from outside due to high groundwater or rainfall, that is generally going to be classified as "groundwater" or "flooding" and not covered unless you have a specific endorsement for it.


Unfortunately, even if the flooding damage is covered, in all but VERRRY old policies that have not been kept up-to-date with amendments or exclusionary endorsements at renewals, the pipe damage itself will not be covered by a homeowner's policy - that is considered wear and tear or aging - only short-term "catastrohpic" or "acute" losses are covered, not deterioration of structure or pipes or such - so the actual repair is almost certainly NOT covered. Though if you have a Home Warranty policy (if you can convince them to pay off, which can be a major battle in itself) they might cover the pipe break repair.


Certainly you should get this fixed ASAP - both for interior health and aesthetics reasons, and because if your line is leaking below the foundation/basement it could cause sttlement issues and also form a pool of sewage in there which could cause a perennial odor issue. Even if the break is outside, if it is backing up into the house, that also likely means sewage is escaping also (at least when not in a wet period) and couse be running back to and under our house - not a nice or desireable situation.


When it rains water comes into dishwasher and sink - sounds like they are below-grade, like in a basement ?


If this backup occurs only when it rains or during wet periods, are you sure it is a broken pipe ? Might be your house elevation is such you are getting backup from the public sewer (or septic system if on septic) and instead need a backflow preventer valve installed - or a more elevated sewer discharge point from the house and a sewage lift pump for the below-ground level water consuming fixtures.


Or you have a problem with your pipe, and standing water during rain events is getting into it - so part of the issue could be standing water near the house. This commonly happens right at the house, where the pipe exits through the foundation (commonly right under the slab) as that is a common breakage point - house settlement cause the pipe under the slab/foundation to settle but the outside pipe does not move, so it shears right at or within a foot or two of the foundation. If you have a french drain in that area, especially if somebody ran the gutter runoff into it, that can end up being a major source of inflow during rains. Not tough to fix if the break is outside the foundation wall - but takes some digging, and you have to be sure french drain and foundation wall waterproofing is properly repaired before the hole is filled back in.


It might take a Sewer and Drain Cleaning contractor with a sewer camera to see what is going on in your case - if you have a sewer line break or not, and if so exactly where it is located. I recommend getting one who has a locator on their camera (a radio transmitter) tht they can stop at the break, then walk outside with the detector and locate with a foot or two where the break is, and mark it for either him or a plumber (as you choose) to know where to dig to repair it.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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