Is My Septic Tank Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?
The short answer to this question is, it depends. It depends on your insurance coverage and the type of damage or repair it requires. Let’s break down some of the most common issues facing septic tank owners and their insurance.
My septic tank incurred physical damage such as cracks, broken lines, or damaged baffle.
Your septic tank is connected to, but not attached to, your home. Unless otherwise specified in your homeowner’s policy, it is unlikely that your tank and its attached parts are covered by insurance. An exception may be as part of a home warrantee which may cover the damage once a deductible is met.
My septic tank has an obstruction that caused a back up into my home.
An obstruction can be caused by one or more issues. One of the more common is when roots get into the pipe connected to the home and septic tank. In any case it is most likely that the damage the backup caused would be covered but the blockage or obstruction outside the home may not be included. It would be important to know the fine print in your homeowner’s insurance policy to know which would be true in your case.
My septic tank has not been maintained and caused secondary damage.
Another issue that can cause damage is when a tank is not properly maintained and causes a backup. You may have a sewer backup clause or add-on available to your policy but otherwise the damage in the home may be covered but sewer lines and tanks are typically not covered.
My home experienced a flood and the septic tank is damaged.
Typically your septic tank is not covered in a flood claim. Again, your policy should be reviewed to be sure and additional coverage may be available with your provider.
According to a standard policy (also known as HO-3) The following items are commonly covered with few exceptions.
- Water damage (Typically not for flood, landslide or earthquake)
- Windstorms and hail
- Fire and smoke
- Falling ice or snow
- Aircraft or vehicular damage
- Theft and vandalism
- Falling objects
Items that cause issues such as cigarette/cigar butts, cloths/rags, paint/stains and grease/fat are not typically covered under standard policies.
To recap, you are likely protected for most common damage caused by a septic issue but the infrastructure and repair to it is typically not covered without a special stipulation or additional coverage of some sort. The most important thing is to keep your septic tank healthy and cleaned on a regular basis. Is it time to get your tank cleaned? (See this article/add link)