Sewage backups & overflow insurance claims
The purpose of a sanitary sewer system is to collect and carry waste water, storm water and infiltrated ground water to a water treatment facility. Unfortunately, a properly flowing sanitary sewer system can at times become obstructed and cause significant stoppages causing a sewage backup. For homeowners, many of these sewage backups can be preventable due to proper maintenance. However, sewage backups are not all the times foreseeable. As a result, residential property owners are faced with the burden of dealing with major property damage issues that can cost upwards in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Typical Causes of Sewer Backups
• Sanitary line breaks (Typically found in older homes with cast iron pipes)
• Accumulation of grease
• Line defects that allow groundwater or storm water to seep into the system
• Poor sanitary line design solutions
• Intentional act of clogging or vandalism
Sewage backups don’t just create issues for your home. According to the CDC, exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause health problems. Mold exposure reactions can vary from mild to serious. The most common issues are coughing, sneezing, allergies, itching and watery eyes. Raw sewage back-up, or Category 3 water damage, due to old cast iron pipes or stoppages can result in exposure to viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Are sewer backups covered by insurance?
When sewage backup & over flows occur, repairing the damage can be very costly to property owners. Depending on the level of damage, repairs from old cast iron pipes or sanitary line blockages can cost upwards in the tens of thousands of dollars. If your home or business sustains water damage, the cost can escalate very quickly because of the initial damage from a pipe overflow or water leak discharge that can cause damage to flooring and wall materials such as wood floors and drywall. Many insurance policies cover damages as a result of water and may also cover the cost to access the repair of the failed sewer system. Although, many building codes still allow the use of cast iron materials for draining sewer systems, typically most plumbing contractors will replace the broken or collapsed cast iron plumbing with new PVC materials.
Will your insurance provide for you when you need it most? Understanding your homeowners or business owner’s insurance policy can be a very complex task. Many insurance policies may have exclusions and limitations of coverage from broken sanitary pipe damages and drain backups. In some states, water damage limitations of only $5,000 or $10,000 are being introduced into policies. Other issues when dealing with an insurance company and the claims process involve depreciation, replacement cost vs actual cash value, deductibles, scope of repairs and pricing values.
What if I immediately cleaned up the mess?
The initial documentation of your sewage backup & overflow damaged property is imperative in providing the evidence needed to create an initial presentation to your insurance company. Taking photos and videos with your smartphone or any other device will help solidify your claim and show important documentation of damaged property that may not be obtainable at a later time. Contacting an insurance claim professional such as a public adjuster is beneficial in the documentation of damaged property at the early stages of an insurance claim. Floridian International Adjusters will consult you in properly obtaining the documentation needed that will help solidify your claim. If there are still questions regarding if the sewage backup actually damaged your home, our adjusters will consult and obtain expert reports supporting the causation of the sewer backup and overflow occurrence.
We find that homeowners and other policyholders at times fail to understand and identify the nature and extent of their damage. Our adjusters have the experience and trained eye that allows us to immediately understand the scope of repairs with clarity. Floridian International Adjusters will advise that the property be tested bacteria, viruses and mold that may be present yet unseen to the naked eye. It is imperative that such issues be immediately addressed and identified at the early stages of presenting a sewer backup & overflow insurance claim for a residential property.
Tips for homeowners after a sewer backup & overflow
- Ensure the safety of yourself and other occupants
- Discontinue any use of your plumbing system
- Take initial photos and a list of damaged property (Interior & Exterior of building)
- Locate your property insurance policy (hardcopy & PDF if possible)
- Immediately take steps to prevent further damage
- Contact Floridian International Adjusters for a FREE CONSULTATION!
- Provide prompt notice of loss to your insurance company
- Develop a plan and claim management strategy with your public adjuster
Our public adjusters service the following areas
Floridian International Adjusters continues to expand into several regions of the US and abroad. Currently, our licensed adjusters can assist property owners with damage in the following locations:
|South Carolina||North Carolina|
Property loss consultants working for you!
Founded in a region known for it’s high risk of natural disasters such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, fires and other catastrophes. Floridian International Adjusters has become a known advocate for policyholders who have incurred the consequence of property damage to their homes and businesses. Our licensed public adjusters have represented and settled thousands of property insurance claims on behalf of property owners. FIA’s trained staff and adjusters come from many diverse backgrounds such as customer relations, architecture, emergency restoration, marketing, business administration and even from inside the insurance carrier side of the property insurance industry. The combination of these various disciplines gives the firm a competitive edge in excelling the practice of public insurance adjusting, property loss consulting and loss appraisal.
Floridian International Adjusters core principles center on the needs of our clients. Our careful representation and insurance claim management strategies provide your property loss claim with an opportunity to maximize the benefits of your insurance policy coverage in an efficient and pro-active manner. Understanding the nature of identifying damage and properly appraising the value of your claim is our specialty.