Q) Am I covered under my homeowner policy if the sewer in my neighbourhood backs up into my basement?
A) Most standard home, tenant or condominium insurance polices do not cover damages due to a sewer backup. You can, in most cases, however, purchase this protection and have it added to your policy.
Sewer backup is the result of sanitary sewer surcharge, which occurs when excess, unwanted water enters sanitary or combined sanitary/storm sewer systems. A surcharge can force sewage into lower levels of houses through connections to the sanitary sewer system (which includes toilets, floor drains and sinks). It can be very expensive to clean up.
If your standard policy does not include this coverage, the cost to add this coverage to your policy is typically around $50 dollars per year and may depend on where you live. Some companies do not offer this type of coverage, so check with your insurance professional.
Have a question you’d like answered? Please send us an email at email@example.com.
Check back every month for new Quote Unquote questions and answers about insurance from readers just like you.