A septic tank can create an expensive problem for property owners if it fails. In some situations, your home insurance may cover damage to the tank. This does not always occur, though.
Property owners with a tank should let their home insurance agent know about it. He or she can ensure the policy offers ample financial protection to you from common tank risks. However, your type of policy may not cover all types of spills or damage to the septic tank. Many factors play a role in this.
When Does Home Insurance Cover a Septic Tank?
Home insurance covers sudden, unavoidable types of damage to structures on your home. This usually includes the septic tank. Most policies include septic tanks because they are a key part of the property.
This coverage provides protection from sudden damage. If the incident has coverage under your policy, the policy will usually cover clean up, debris removal and repairs.
Some instances of coverage include the following:
Lightning or fire damage
Water damage related to plumbing problems
Falling objects, such as a large tree branch (if it occurred suddenly)
Other instances may apply. Keep in mind that the underlying cause of the incident must be unavoidable. That is, it needs to be due to an unforeseen or expected problem or concern.
When Does Home Insurance Not Cover Septic Tank Damage and Repair?
The most common cause of septic tank leaks is poor maintenance. Older systems fail due to normal wear and tear. Sometimes, property owners fail to maintain these systems. They then might fail due to infrequent cleaning, lack of maintenance, or overuse.
These are instances of neglect. They generally do not qualify for coverage under a standard home insurance policy. A lack of maintenance and upkeep also does not apply. Property owners must maintain these systems according to manufacturer recommendations.
What should you do if you have a septic tank leak or spill? Your first step should be to call a professional to clean up the problem and to repair the tank. You can include your home insurance agent in the process. He or she will determine if you have coverage. If so, they will help to lead the process of cleaning up the problem and making the repairs. Read the details of your policy. This way you know what to expect from this type of incident.