Damaged or collapsed drains can be a nuisance. If you do not fix the issue quickly, it can cause major disruption to your property and pose a health risk. However, repairing collapsed drains can be expensive, especially when you’re dealing with full collapses. As such, most homeowners often wonder if they can have their home insurance companies cover the damages. Drainage and homeowners insurance is quite difficult to understand.
We’ve decided to make things a lot easier for you by giving a rundown of everything you can expect when it comes to this subject.
So are drains covered by your homeowners insurance?
Well, the honest answer is — it depends. There are different factors that can influence your coverage for these specific damages. The most common is your home insurance provider and, of course, the level of coverage you have in place. Most insurance companies provide policies that cover exterior drains, particularly in the event of accidental damage. This means that the collapsed pipes must happen suddenly and shouldn’t have been easily preventable. However, it is important to review your insurance policy to determine what truly falls under accidental damage. All policies usually exclude wear and tear, as well as gradual damage. So, damages resulting from this are without a doubt not going to be considered.
What often qualifies for accidental damage more or less has to do with tree root ingress and excavation. New methods such as trenchless repairs are great because you get to avoid digging up drains, so if coverage is available, insurance companies may prefer this fix. There may be other exceptions, though. Depending on your insurance provider, you may opt for additional coverage that covers specific types of drains for more peace of mind. Extra covers are very helpful, especially for homeowners in need of a higher liability. It’s a good idea to exercise due diligence and be sure to speak with your insurance company representatives for any clarification so that you get extra cover that’s most relevant to you. Please note that only collapsed drains within your property will be covered by homeowners insurance. This applies in circumstances where your drainage system connects with that of neighbours. If you’re buying a new home then you should consider conducting a pre-home purchase drain survey.
Key steps to avoid having a collapsed drains claim denied
- Regular maintenance
It’s every homeowner’s responsibility to ensure their drains are well maintained. Without regular maintenance, there’s a risk of frequent blockages that can lead to premature damage and collapse. Your insurance provider can cite negligence and end up denying your claim.
- Ensure inspections are conducted by licensed professionals
Your drainage system should be inspected regularly by a certified professional plumber. Also, you must keep the records of all the professionals used for repairs over the years. This will demonstrate you are a responsible homeowner.
How do you determine the extent of the damage?
You will need a CCTV drain survey inspection to get a clear view of the drain pipes and see how severe the damage is. Through this survey, it’s possible to identify the root cause of the collapsed drains. If the damage was by accident and beyond your control, then this inspection can help prove it and you’ll be more likely to make a successful claim.