If you own a home with a septic tank, you understand that it’s no walk in the drain field! There are things to consider that a homeowner serviced by municipal sewers doesn’t have to worry about. Whether you’re concerned about your septic tank backing up, the cost to cover pump or pipe damage, the age of your tank or regular maintenance, this article may help ease some of the worry.
At BrokerLink, we want to help you find the right coverage for your septic tank. Mitigating the risks septic tank owners may face can help offer peace of mind, so you can focus on what matters to you.
Homeowner’s insurance coverage for septic tanks
Home insurance policies are made up of several different types of coverage that protect different parts of your property. Septic tanks are considered built-in home appliances so your septic tank would be covered by the dwelling coverage component of your homeowners insurance in the event that it is suddenly damaged. Dwelling coverage can also cover damage to your home that is caused by your septic tank.
Septic tank damages that may be covered with homeowner’s insurance
Most home insurance policies include protection for "other structures" like septic tanks, pools and fences that are covered in the same way as everything else inside your home. However, there are limitations.
The types of damage that may be covered by homeowners insurance are sudden and acute, meaning the homeowners could have done nothing to prevent them.
Most common types of sudden damage include:
- Lightning or fire
- Hail or windstorm
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damages caused by vehicles
- Falling Objects
- Damage from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet
- Water damage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning overflow
- Water heater cracking, tearing, and burning
- Pipe freezing
Septic tank damage that may not be covered with homeowner’s insurance
A standard home insurance policy does not cover regular wear and tear to your septic tank and attached pipes. The damage must be considered sudden in order to be covered by insurance.
Many of the most common causes of damage to septic tanks can be traced to human error and lack of proper maintenance, so it’s important to take care of your tank.
Here are a ways you may be unknowingly damaging your tank:
- Flushing chemicals, solids and oils
- Driving over the tank
- Not having proper drainage
- Not taking care of tree roots
Tips for maintaining your septic tank
- Pump your septic tank regularly.
- Divert rainwater from the septic drain field.
- Regulate water usage - check faucets and toilets for leaks; reduce water levels for small loads of laundry.
- Keep trees at least 100 feet away from the septic system. Trees can cause root damage to the system.
- Display signs that notify your patrons to not dispose of waste in the toilet. Items like disposable diapers, feminine sanitary products, paper towels, cigarette butts and facial tissues will quickly clog your septic tank.
- Minimize heavy duty cleaners. Heavy cleaners kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, impacting the break down of solids.
- Dispose of hazardous chemicals properly (ie: varnish, paint thinners, motor oils, gasoline).
- Do not drive over the drain field or build on top of it.
- Plant grass on the drain field to minimize soil erosion.
Broker Pro Tip:
Always keep track of all the work done on your septic tank. This will help you schedule when to pump out the tank regularly.
Protect your septic tank with home insurance from BrokerLink
BrokerLink insurance advisors take the time to get to know you so they can provide insurance solutions that meet your unique needs. In addition, you get something that’s hard to put a price on: peace of mind.
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FAQs about septic tank damage
How do I maximize my homeowner’s insurance claim for a damaged septic tank?
It’s important you document everything possible for your claim, including taking photos of damage done. This will ensure less guesswork will need to be done by your insurance adjuster. Also, understand what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance and what is not. By staying informed, you put yourself in the best possible position to understand what should be covered under your policy.
How often should a septic tank be pumped?
Your septic should be pumped approximately every three to five years, but it depends on several factors. For example, a one-person household will need to empty their septic tank less frequently that a five person household. Check with your local government, as there may be regulations to follow based on the area you live in.
What is the most common cause of septic tank failure?
One of the most common causes for a septic tank to fail is poor maintenance. This can be easily prevented to increase the life of your septic tank! Some of the most important maintenance tips include, pumping your septic tank regularly, diverting rainwater from the septic drain field and regulating water usage, such as checking faucets and toilets for leaks.