UPDATED: APRIL 19, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
A septic tank system processes wastewater from lavatories, showers, and basins. They’re for residences on rural lands without access to a municipal sewer system. They function as storage tanks for wastewater and solid waste. But does your standard homeowners insurance cover septic tanks? Read on to learn more.
Does Home Insurance Cover Septic Tanks?
A home insurance policy typically covers all damage to the septic tank and its contents, including any pipes, pumps, fittings, and other equipment connected to it.
However, there are some exceptions where a homeowner might not have coverage for damages to their septic system.
What is Covered by Home Insurance Policies?
Dwelling coverage usually covers the cost of repairs or replacement cost of the septic tank if the damage occurs due to fire, vandalism, or other natural disasters, such as a windstorm. In other words – if a covered peril causes damage.
What is Not Covered by Your Homeowners Policy?
However, there are some cases where the homeowners coverage does not cover the cost of repairing or replacing a septic tank. There may be a list in your policy that explains the exclusions.
For example, if damage to the septic tank caused by a flood was an exclusion from your standard home insurance policy coverage. You may need a separate flood insurance policy for the coverage to replace or repair the tank.
Other situations where homeowners insurance may not cover the septic tank include:
- If the homeowner knowingly caused the damage by a lack of maintenance or failure to follow instructions from a professional service provider. An example may be if the homeowner poured cooking oil down the drains, leading to a system failure due to it getting clogged.
- If the policyholder rented their home and didn’t inform their landlord about any repairs needed on their septic system.
Preventing Damage Caused By Your Septic Tank System
The septic tank system is a vital part of your home. It helps to break down waste and keep it out of the water supply. However, if the system isn’t maintained correctly, it can cause a lot of damage.
Many things can go wrong with your septic system, but there are also things you can do to prevent these problems from happening.
- It would be best if you always had a professional come out at least once a year to inspect your septic tank and ensure everything is working correctly. They will be able to identify any potential problems before they become severe and costly.
- If you know that there has been an issue with your septic tank in the past, then you should have them come out more often than once per year.
- You should ensure that you’re not putting anything down the drain that’s not meant for wastewater disposal, as this can clog up your pipes and cause damage to your system as well.
Signs of a Serious Issue
Several things can let you know if there’s a problem with your septic tank system.
- A gurgling sound coming from the toilets
- Wet spots in the field or thick growth of vegetation
- Sewage reaching the surface of the leach field
- Slow drains
- A foul smell in the drain field
If you can address issues early, you can mitigate the cost of a complete system failure and avoid an insurance claim that may get rejected.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
The first sign that you might have an issue with your septic system is when you notice a sewer backup into your house or overflowing onto your property. Heavy rains, tree roots growing through the system, or something that has gone down a drain that should not be there, could be the cause of the backup. You may also notice that water drains slowly in sinks and toilets and a foul smell from your drains when used.
Should a septic tank be covered?
The septic tank should always have a lid as a matter of safety to prevent children or animals from falling into it. The lid prevents rainwater, dirt, and other solid particles from getting into the tank and clogging up its filter, which could cause it to fail, overflow or cause water damage.
How many years does a septic system last?
The average lifespan of a septic tank is about 20 years. However, the lifespan can vary depending on how often you use the tank, what type of soil it’s in, and if it has regular maintenance. If you can get regular inspections and make repairs when needed, this can extend the lifespan of your septic system. Don’t connect your sump pump to your septic system, as it can pump too much water and cause damage.
What happens if the septic tank is not pumped?
If you don’t maintain the septic tank and pump it regularly, it will fill up and overflow. This can lead to sewage spilling out onto the ground or into the basement of your home. It would help if you also inspected your tank every few years for any cracks or leaks so you can take care of them before they get worse.
What are other ways to dispose of septic tank waste?
One of the ways is by using a septic tank sewage treatment plant. A sewage treatment plant will take in the raw sewage from your home and treat it before releasing it into the ground and a body of water. This will allow you to dispose of your wastewater without adversely affecting the environment or groundwater.
What is the average cost for a septic tank?
You can expect to pay at least a couple of thousand dollars to have a new septic tank system put into your home. On average, for a professional installation, the cost is $5,828. However, the total cost for the installation can range from $3,000 to $8,000.
What are the health risks of a septic tank?
A septic tank’s health risks include infection from bacteria and viruses that may grow and enter groundwater or surface water. The presence of these pathogens could lead to disease outbreaks and epidemics. Other health risks include exposure include:
- Raw sewage
- Toxic chemicals from household cleaners that leach into wastewater
- Fumes from decomposing organic matter in the septic tank
What are the costs of maintaining a septic tank?
The cost of proper maintenance for a septic tank is dependent on its size. The cost can vary based on if it requires pumping. If it does, then there will also be a cost for disposal. Prices can vary from $200 to $500 for pumping and cleaning services. Replacement parts for your septic system can be costly, a lid might only be $50, but a new pump or leach field could cost you thousands of dollars.
How to Get Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Your Septic Tank
Even if your insurance company does cover the cost of a new septic tank, it doesn’t mean you have to replace your old one. Suppose you have a functioning septic system that has been well-maintained and inspected by a licensed professional. In that case, your current septic system will work fine for years.
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