Sewer Backup Insurance: Do You Need it?

Whether you own a single home, multiple rental properties, commercial property, or own your own business, having the right insurance coverage is critical. A good policy can keep both your loved ones and your investments safe. One insurance coverage detail that not everyone understands is sewer backup coverage.

In this article, we explain what this coverage is, why you may need it, and how to get help if you are faced with a sewer backup at your home, business, or other property

What is Sewer Backup Insurance?

Sewer backup insurance protects your home against damages caused by water that backs up through your plumbing system. Backups can happen for a variety of reasons, including a blockage in your home’s sewer line, tree roots in your sewer lines, broken lines, or a sump pump failure. 

A sewage backup at your home or business is considered Category 3 black water. Category 3 water damage is caused by water that contains dangerous, pathogenic and toxic materials. Because any contact with contaminated category 3 black water is potentially harmful, it requires professional clean-up. Sewer backups can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and you might not have coverage for it under a standard insurance policy.

Many people think they are automatically covered for sewer backups at their home, business, or investment property. After all, it’s just another form of water damage, right? Wrong: Sewer backups are similar to flooding in that coverage requires special, additional policies or policy features.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), most homeowners and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backups unless that specific coverage is added to your policy. To make sure you are covered, you should talk to your insurance agent about a special sewer backup endorsement, or even a separate policy. 

3 Most Common Sewage Backup Issues

Although the reasons for sewage backups can vary (and some can be prevented), there are a few additional factors that may increase your chances of experiencing a sewage backup. Here are three of the most common. 

Combined Sewer Systems

In a combined sewer system, the same pipes that carry away raw sewage also carry away rainwater. if there is heavy rain or a flood, the combined, contaminated sewage and water can get back backed up and forced up into your property. In Cook county and the overall Chicago area, many communities have combined sewer systems. 

Older plumbing systems

If your property has older pipers and sewer lines, you are at greater risk of backup-causing breakage. If you’re not sure about the condition of your pipes or water lines, contact a plumber who can check everything with a scope.

Properties with Basements

The risk for sewage back-ups is highest in basements, though these backups can cause damage in any part of your property that has plumbing. Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas are all at risk. If you have a finished basement, or use this area to store valuable items, coverage and prevention is essential. 

Sewage Backup Health Risks: Leave Cleanup To The Pros

If your sewer line gets clogged, damaged, or just overwhelmed, you will be faced with a messy back-up into your home or businesses. If you are faced with a situation like this, you should not clean up after a sewage or combined sewer system backup yourself.

Contaminated sewage quickly spreads dangerous bacteria and other toxins across floors and carpets, wicks into drywall, and soaks deep into the structural materials at your property. Even after it has gone down, it leaves behind a hazardous environment that can impact the health of your family, residents, employees, and customers. 

Sewage Clean Up Service: Restoration Professionals Can Help 

At McMahon Services and Construction, we will protect you from the dangers of sewage clean-up. We understand all CDC, EPA and OSHA cleaning processes. Our industry-certified teams have the personal protective equipment, state-of-the-art tools, and advanced techniques needed to sanitize everything at your property, eliminating viral and bacterial contamination from sewage.

When you have sewage backup coverage as a part of your homeowners, rental property, or business insurance, you will have coverage for the expert services that will get things back to normal, right away. We regularly partner with local and national insurance carriers and agencies, so we understand how to efficiently manage the claims process, making sure you get the help you are entitled to. 

At McMahon Services and Construction, we have a 24/7 emergency line, and are always ready to handle the smelliest, scariest sewage and water damage issues, day or night. If you are faced with overwhelming and unexpected sewage back-ups at your property, call McMahon Services and Construction to get the help you need, right away.