Clog and overflow water events are often mischaracterized as sewage backup by unwitting property insurance consumers. Although a clog within a plumbing system resulting in an overflow is almost universally covered by homeowners’ policies, sewage backup is not. Sewage backup is considered ground water and excluded unless a severely limited addendum has been purchased with the policy.
As a property owner requiring sewage damage restoration, the distinction between a sewage backup and a sewage overflow is important to understand and be able to identify independently of an insurance carrier. Awareness of the differences and what they entail regarding the possibility and extent of insurance coverage will help property insurance policy holders protect their interests in the event of a flood originating from a wastewater drainage line.
Property Recovery 911 was summoned to a stately stone home in Darby, PA for a sewage cleanup job. The source of the sewage overflow was a toilet located in the finished basement powder room as well as a floor drain in the laundry room. Upon inspection, we discovered that the soil line serving the property was clogged, which is often the culprit when a sewage overflow occurs. In such an event, the location of the sewage overflow is the first drain or drains ‘north’ of the clog.