Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Sewer Line Replacement?

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Written by
Cara Carlone
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If something has gone wrong with your sewer line, you may be wondering if your home insurance covers sewer line replacement.

The answer to that question is–it depends. If the sewer line needs replacing due to a covered peril, then yes, your homeowners will probably provide coverage. There are qualifications to that answer, though, which I’ll explain.

To know and understand more about homeowners insurance and sewer line replacement, read on. With more than twenty years spent helping consumers become more familiar with their home insurance, I’m here to help you gain a better knowledge of your coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • Your homeowners insurance might offer coverage for sewer line replacement, provided the damage is the result of a proximate covered peril.

  • If it does pay for sewer line replacement, it will probably be based on the “other structures” part of your policy. .

  • Homeowners insurance will not provide coverage for sewer line replacement due to normal wear and tear.

Will Homeowners Insurance Include Coverage For Sewer Line Replacement?

Home insurance generally will include coverage if your sewer line replacement is due to a covered peril such as fire, windstorms, intrusion of tree roots, and other common perils.

Another scenario where your home insurance is likely to cover sewer line replacement is if the damage was done by your neighbor, for instance, or a contractor. As an example, if you hired a roofing company to replace your roof and they drove a large truck over your buried sewer line and broke it, your insurance would probably cover the incident.

You should be aware that in the majority of cases, sewer lines wear out instead of incurring damage that necessitates replacement.

The average home sewer line will last approximately 75 years and is usually made of concrete, clay, PVC, or cast iron. So, if your sewer line needs replacing for a reason that isn’t considered a covered peril, chances are it’s worn out. This is especially true if it’s an older home.

What Losses Will Home Insurance Cover For Sewer Line Replacement?

In most cases, if your sewer line replacement is the result of a covered peril, you will have coverage. Below are two major points about losses that are related to sewer line replacement:

  • Water Damage: If your sewer line breaks and causes water damage to your home, your homeowners policy’s water damage coverage might apply. This will also include repairing or replacing damaged walls, and floors, as well as personal property.
  • Other Structures Coverage: When home insurance does cover damage to your sewer line, it’s generally in the “other structures” coverage of your policy. It is applicable to structures not attached to your dwelling,  including sewer lines that are buried leading away from your home’s structure. Please note that there might be a separate limit for coverage of other structures.

Note: Some homeowner insurance policies have a separate deductible for hurricanes or wind storms. The deductible might be a percentage of your dwelling amount, so check your deductible before you file a claim. You don’t want to file a claim if your deductible is going to be more than the amount of the damage.

When Is Sewer Line Replacement Not Covered By Home Insurance?

Although your home insurance will provide coverage for sewer line replacement in certain scenarios, there are instances when it won’t.

There are some situations when your home insurance will probably not provide coverage for sewer line replacement. Home insurance policies often exclude damage caused by:

  • General lack of upkeep and maintenance
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Gradual deterioration

What If Sewer Line Replacement Results From Roots Of A Neighbor’s Tree?

This does happen occasionally and it can be a gray area when it comes to whose insurance will pay the cost of your sewer line replacement.

If you can show that there were no leaks in your sewer line prior to the damage from your neighbor’s tree roots, then your neighbor would be held responsible and would be held liable for the cost.

Generally speaking, you are allowed to trim the roots of a neighbor’s tree that are growing on your property, provided you don’t kill the tree.

Are There Ways You Can Help To Avoid Sewer Line Replacement?

Yes, you can be proactive in helping to avoid sewer line replacement. Bear in mind that if your home is old, it probably has the original sewer lines and at some point they’re going to break down. Still, you can take steps to see to it that your sewer line lasts as long as possible.

Here are some preventive measures you can take to preserve your sewer line:

  • Inspections: You should schedule professional inspections on a regular basis in order to find potential issues before too much damage is done. This might well play a large part if it comes time to file a claim for sewer line replacement. Home insurance companies expect consumers to address a problem early so as to prevent more damage.
  • Don’t Plant Trees Close To Sewer Lines: Tree roots can and do find their way into sewer pipes, causing damage and blockage. Before planting trees anywhere near your sewer line, check and see how tall it will become when mature. The height of the tree will be the approximate length of its roots. So if you plant a tree that will grow to 100 feet, its roots will spread out the same distance. If your sewer line is only 75 feet from the tree, sooner or later those tree roots will grow into your sewer line.
  • Grease and Oils Disposal: It’s best not to pour grease or oils down your drains, as doing so can cause clogs.
  • Check For Signs of Tree Roots: You should be watchful for signs that tree roots might have gotten into your sewer line. Some things to look for are: rapid tree growth, slow drains, soft spots in the yard, sinkholes, and gurgling toilets.

When To File A Homeowners Insurance Claim For Sewer Line Replacement?

To file or not to file a claim with your homeowners insurance isn’t a cut-and-dried matter. There are several aspects of this question, and you need to be aware of the ramifications one way or the other.

It’s a good idea to weigh the good against the bad when making a decision about whether or not to file a claim.


  • If your deductible is $1,000 and the estimate for sewer line replacement is $5,000; you might be better off to file a claim.
  • Having your insurance foot the bill to replace your sewer line might allow you to hire professionals instead of tackling such a big job as a DIY project to save money.
  • Getting a sewer line replacement will help maintain the value of your home.


  • Any time you file a claim, even a small one, there’s a chance your premium could be increased. So you should weigh the potential higher premiums long-term against the immediate benefit of filing a claim.
  • In some cases, you might have to wait a while before your insurer can get a claims adjuster to assess the damage and then wait for a contractor to take care of the sewer line replacement.

How Do You File A Home Insurance Claim For Sewer Line Replacement?

If, after careful consideration, you opt to file a claim and let your homeowners insurance provider cover the cost of sewer line replacement, you’ll find that the process is much like any other type of claim.

Note: Some insurers have separate deductibles for wind or hurricane losses. These  deductibles may be a percentage of your home’s dwelling limit and not a flat amount. Always look at the correct deductible before deciding whether the damage is more than that amount.

Here is what you should do if you’re going to file a claim for sewer line replacement:

  • Notify Your Insurance Company: This should be done ASAP. As soon as you find a damaged sewer line, contact your insurance provider. Provide pertinent details about the damage, including the cause if possible. For instance, tree roots, or other causes. Find out what documentation the company will need for the claim.
  • Document Damage: Take videos or clear photos of the damage to your sewer line, along with water damage caused by it, if any, as well as the area that’s affected. This evidence will help support your insurance claim. Be sure to keep all records of any repair or estimate.
  • Schedule an Adjuster’s Visit: Your insurance carrier will want to send one of their adjusters to make an assessment of the situation and estimate of the cost for repairs.
  • Get Quotes for Repair: Get quotes from contractors for replacing or repairing your sewer line. These will play a part in determining a claim amount. Make sure the quotes include details about the work that will have to be done, along with the cost.
  • Try to Prevent Further Damage: If you can, prevent more damage. For instance: If you see a leak, turn off the water supply to the area of the leak.
  • File Your Claim: Once you have completed the steps shown above, it’s time to file a claim. Turn over estimates, photos, the adjuster’s report, and your own report of what happened.

After you have filed a claim, there’s nothing you can do but wait for your insurer to approve it. Hopefully this will be expedited since a sewer line is not something you can get by without.

Are There Other Types Of Coverage For Sewer Line Replacement?

Yes, there are other ways available to get coverage or additional coverage for sewer line replacement.

Perhaps your best bet if you want to obtain coverage or extra coverage for sewer line replacement is to purchase a home warranty.

In case you’re unfamiliar with home warranties, here’s what you can expect from one:

A home warranty isn’t the same as homeowners insurance. Instead, it is a service contract that covers repairs or replacement of key home systems as well as appliances. It will usually cover things that home insurance won’t, such as normal wear and tear.

Coverage: Home warranties usually provide coverage for systems such as electrical, heating, plumbing, and cooling, along with appliances such as  ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers. It offers protection to homeowners from repair costs that result from normal wear and tear.

How a Home Warranty Works: If a covered system or appliance has a breakdown, you notify your home warranty company. They’ll make arrangements for a service technician to assess the condition of whatever has malfunctioned. If the repair is a covered expense, your home warranty company will pay for the repair or a replacement, less your deductible or any service fees.



Can you purchase separate insurance coverage for sewer line replacement?

You can purchase a home warranty that will pay in addition to your homeowners policy. If your home insurance doesn’t cover repair or replacement of something like a sewer line; it will provide coverage.

Does the standard home insurance policy provide coverage for sewer line replacement?

In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t routinely cover sewer line replacement. The exception is if the sewer line was damaged by a covered peril, or if a third party damaged it.

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