Homeowners’ insurance generally does not cover blocked toilets or drains. While it may cover accidental damages that result in clogged drains, routine maintenance issues like blockages are typically not included in standard policies.
If you experience a blocked toilet or drain, you will likely need to cover the repair costs yourself. However, you can explore options to add coverage for specific issues like overflowing sewer damage to your policy to protect against such incidents.
Types of Plumbing Problems Covered by Home Insurance
Home insurance policies typically cover plumbing problems that are sudden, accidental, and unforeseen. This means that the problem must have occurred unexpectedly and without your knowledge or control. Some examples of plumbing problems that are usually covered by home insurance are:
- Burst pipes: If a pipe bursts due to freezing, corrosion, or external pressure, and causes water damage to your home, your home insurance will likely cover the repair costs of both the pipe and the affected areas. However, you must take reasonable steps to prevent further damage, such as shutting off the water supply and contacting your insurer as soon as possible.
- Appliance leaks: If an appliance, such as a washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater, leaks water and damages your home, your home insurance will likely cover the repair costs of the appliance and the affected areas. However, you must maintain your appliances regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid leaks.
- Overflowing toilets and sinks: If a toilet or sink overflows due to a sudden blockage or malfunction, and causes water damage to your home, your home insurance will likely cover the repair costs of the toilet or sink and the affected areas. However, you must not flush or pour anything that could cause a blockage, such as diapers, wipes, grease, or hair.
What Home Insurance Won’t Cover for Plumbing Problems?
Home insurance policies typically do not cover plumbing problems that are gradual, intentional, or preventable. This means that the problem must have occurred over time, due to your actions or inactions, or could have been avoided with proper maintenance or care. Some examples of plumbing problems that are usually not covered by home insurance are:
- Negligence: If you fail to maintain your plumbing system, such as by ignoring leaks, cracks, or signs of wear and tear, and cause water damage to your home, your home insurance will likely not cover the repair costs. You are expected to inspect and repair your plumbing system regularly and report any issues to your insurer.
- DIY plumbing: If you attempt to fix or install your plumbing system yourself, without the proper skills, tools, or permits, and cause water damage to your home, your home insurance will likely not cover the repair costs. You are advised to hire a licensed and insured plumber for any plumbing work and follow the local codes and regulations.
- Wear and tear: If your plumbing system deteriorates due to normal use, age, or environmental factors, and causes water damage to your home, your home insurance will likely not cover the repair costs. You are responsible for replacing or upgrading your plumbing system when necessary, and keeping it in good condition.
What Causes a Blocked Toilet?
A blocked toilet is a plumbing problem that can occur due to various reasons. Some of the most common causes of a blocked toilet are:
- Clogged drain pipes: If the drain pipes that connect your toilet to the sewer system are clogged with debris, such as toilet paper, sanitary products, or foreign objects, the water will not flow properly and cause a blockage. You can try to clear the clog with a plunger, a snake, or a chemical drain cleaner, but if the clog is too severe or deep, you may need to call a plumber.
- Sewer line backups: If the sewer line that serves your home or neighborhood is backed up with sewage, water, or tree roots, the water will not drain properly and cause a blockage. You can check if the sewer line is the problem by looking for signs, such as multiple drains being clogged, foul smells, or gurgling noises. You will need to call a plumber or your local sewer authority to fix the problem.