Broken sewer pipe

How to Protect Your Home with a Sewer Line Warranty

By Sandy John

House Method researches, reviews, and recommends warranties of all kinds. Affiliate Disclosure.

Water and sewer line issues can be some of the most expensive and inconvenient repairs you face because they often involve digging up your yard and part of the street. Depending on the situation, you could be looking at a bill that ends up costing you several thousand dollars.

Thankfully, there are insurance and warranty options that help cover the costs of such water and sewer line disasters. Read on to discover what sort of sewer line plans are available and to see if you could benefit from them.

House Method recommends Choice Home Warranty, which offers coverage for plumbing system stoppages and optional septic system coverage. For a free quote from this top-rated home warranty provider, call 929-400-6164 or type in your zip code. Read our in-depth Choice Home Warranty review for more information.

Best overall

Editor's Pick: Choice Home Warranty

  • Plumbing systems and plumbing stoppages are covered under both the Basic and Total Plans.
  • Septic system and septic tank pumping coverage is available as an optional add-on.
  • Plans start as low as $1 a day.
  • You work with professional customer service representatives and pre-screened technicians.
  • You get your first month free when you sign up for a single-payment, annual home warranty plan for a total of 13 months of coverage.

Do I need a sewer line warranty?

Buried beneath your lawn, there are pipes that bring clean water into your house and take out dirty water and sewage. These pipes are known as sewer and water lines, and they run from your house to the municipal water and sewer lines under the street. If you aren’t connected to the municipal sewage system, your sewage line runs to your septic tank.

Many people incorrectly assume that the utility company is responsible for any problems that arise in water and sewer lines, but in reality, homeowners are responsible for the lines running through their property and into their house.

Your homeowners insurance probably isn’t going to cover these kinds of problems, either, unless you purchase a special rider for your policy that covers sewer backups or similar problems. For that reason, many municipal utilities urge their customers to purchase a warranty for protection.

Common sewer line issues

Do you need to worry about the water and sewer lines to your home? The answer depends on what the lines are made of and how old they are. Newer homes typically use PVC pipes, and PVC pipes are less likely to break than other pipes. Homes built in the 1960s and 1970s usually have pipes made of cast iron, which can be damaged by corrosive soils. Pipes that were laid in the decades before the 1960s are often made of more fragile materials that are even more prone to damage.

As the local water infrastructure ages, line breaks become more common. A Utah State University study found that water main breaks rose by 27% from 2012 to 2018 in the United States and Canada. For cast iron pipes specifically, breaks were up by 43% in that period.

Luckily, not every issue with a sewer line involves a break. The Georgia Plumbers’ Trade Association reports that clogged lines often just need to be unclogged rather than replaced. Prices for unclogging a sewer line, commonly referred to as snaking the line, can vary widely, depending on accessibility to the clog, the length of the line, and the cause of the clog, but most cost $200-$250.

Sewer line coverage options

If you are worried about your sewer lines, you have several options for coverage:

  • A rider on your homeowners insurance policy. Damage from sewer backups aren’t covered under a typical homeowners policy. You might be able to purchase an endorsement on your policy that provides coverage for sewer lines or sewer backups for an additional amount each month.
  • Water line insurance. Some companies offer a policy that specifically covers your water line. If your home is older or you’ve had plumbing issues in the past, you may want to consider this policy.
  • Service Line Warranties of America. This company specializes in water line and sewer line repair plans. The company maintains a 24/7 call center and has a list of pre-screened plumbers it can call if you’re in need of a repair. There is no deductible for covered repairs, and customers can make monthly or annual payments.
  • A water or sewer line warranty offered through your utility company. Some municipalities offer water and sewer line warranties by partnering with a warranty company. New York City, for instance, has partnered with American Water Resources. The warranty plan is similar to other warranties, but the advantage of the city partnership is that customers can pay the monthly premium as part of their utility bill.
  • A home warranty that includes a sewer or septic option. These protection plans are also service contracts designed to offset repairs costs. If the basic home warranty doesn’t cover septic elements, you might be able to add them as optional coverage.

Home warranty coverage for sewer lines and more

A home warranty can be a good way to protect yourself from the unexpected expense of a plumbing stoppage or septic issue. House Method recommends Choice Home Warranty, which offers plumbing stoppage coverage as part of both its Basic Plan and Total Plan. Choice Home Warranty also provides coverage of septic lines with its septic system add-on that you can tack onto either plan.

Unlike a sewer line insurance plan, which only covers those lines, a home warranty provides coverage for many other systems and appliances that may experience problems due to normal wear and tear. If you have an issue with a covered system, such as a plumbing stoppage, you can call the warranty company, who will send a qualified technician to your home for diagnosis and repair. All you have to pay is a service fee for the technician’s visit.

Choice Home Warranty’s plumbing stoppage coverage includes stoppages and clogs in the drain and sewer lines up to 100 feet from the access point, as long as there is an accessible ground level cleanout and the clog can be cleared by cable. It doesn’t cover broken lines outside the main foundation or clogs due to roots. The optional septic system coverage includes a variety of pumps, the septic tank, and the septic line from the house.

Why we recommend Choice Home Warranty

House Method researches and reviews the best home warranty providers and compares their coverage. Choice Home Warranty offers comprehensive coverage of a broad range of appliances and systems at a competitive price. Their plans allow you to cover all the important systems in your home, not just your water lines. The company provides two plans plus optional add-ons.

Best overall

Editor's Pick: Choice Home Warranty

  • Plumbing systems and plumbing stoppages are covered under both the Basic and Total Plans.
  • Septic system and septic tank pumping coverage is available as an optional add-on.
  • Plans start as low as $1 a day.
  • You work with professional customer service representatives and pre-screened technicians.
  • You get your first month free when you sign up for a single-payment, annual home warranty plan for a total of 13 months of coverage.

The Basic Plan covers:

  • Plumbing system
  • Plumbing stoppages
  • Heating system
  • Electrical system
  • Water heater
  • Whirlpool bathtub
  • Oven/range/stove
  • Cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-in microwave
  • Garbage disposal
  • Ductwork
  • Garage door opener
  • Ceiling and exhaust fans

The Total Plan covers everything in The Basic Plan plus:

Optional Coverage is available for a variety of less common items, including:

  • Septic system
  • Septic tank pumping
  • Sump pump
  • Pool/spa
  • Central vacuum
  • Second refrigerator
  • Well pump
  • Limited roof leak
  • Standalone freezer
For a free quote from Choice Home Warranty, call 929-400-6164 or fill out this online form.

Sewer maintenance tips

While water and sewer line insurance and warranty plans can provide some relief if you experience problems with your pipes, it’s best to try to prevent a backup from ever happening.

  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. Grease solidifies and can cause clogs in your drain or sewer line. Instead, pour used cooking oils into a heat-resistant container, let it cool, then put it in the trash.
  • Keep most paper products out of your pipes. Paper towels, disposable diapers and wipes, and feminine hygiene products don’t deteriorate like toilet paper does and can clog sewer lines. Put them in the trash instead of flushing them.
  • Manage tree roots. If tree roots are intruding into your water and sewer pipes, get a professional to trim the roots.
  • Put in plastic piping. Replacing old pipes with PVC pipes will keep the tree roots out of the pipes and eliminate the issues that come with aging pipes.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve. These valves are installed in basement sewer lines and prevent sewer water from backflowing into your home. We recommend calling a qualified plumber to install this device.

Yuck, our sewer line backed up

Sewage backing up into your home is more than yucky. It can lead to disease, electrical malfunctions, and mold. Take these steps as soon as you discover a backup in your sewer line:

  • Keep kids and pets away from the area.
  • Turn off electrical power to the area if any electrical appliances or fixtures are in contact with standing water.
  • Turn off running water and don’t flush the toilets.
  • Notify the local water and sewer utility in case the backup is more extensive than just your house.
  • Contact your insurance company or home warranty company.
  • Consider hiring a professional to clean up if the area is large or if the spill occurred more than 24 hours before you discovered it.
Water PVC Plastic Pipes in Ground during Plumbing Construction site

FAQs on sewer and water line insurance

Does my homeowners insurance cover sewer line issues?

Homeowners policies don’t typically cover these issues unless you specifically purchase a rider. Not every insurance company will offer this rider, but if your policy is from a national company, like State Farm or Allstate, they will probably have it.

Does homeowners insurance cover my septic tank?

Homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover a septic system because it’s not considered a part of the structure of the home, since it’s located away from the house. Some insurers offer a rider that covers septic tanks, but home insurance doesn’t cover the wear and tear that often results in septic system problems, so you might want to look into a home warranty that includes your septic system.

Does homeowners insurance cover tree roots in the sewer line?

Probably not. Homeowners insurance protects against specific disasters or accidents that occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Tree roots intruding into pipes is a slow process, making it unlikely that your insurance will cover it. To verify this, check your insurance documents or ask your agent.

Water pipes under kitchen sink. 3d illustartion

Get a Quote for Sewer Line Warranty

from our top-ranked provider, Choice Home Warranty.

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*Terms and conditions apply. Be sure to review complete limits of liability and any exclusions. CHW offers service contracts which are not warranties.
**See policy for specifics on response times.
***CHW reserves the right to offer cash back in lieu of repair or replacement in the amount of CHW’s actual cost (which at times may be less than retail) to repair or replace any covered system, component or appliance.
****In the event a claim is denied, and a customer seeks to have Us review that denial, We have the right to request routine maintenance records in reviewing its decision.

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