Are Tree Roots in Sewer Lines Covered by Insurance?

Posted on August 18, 2022


Long Nguyen | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

Mature trees provide homeowners with a great deal of added property value. They increase curb appeal, add shade to your yard, and increase privacy.

But having trees on your property can also lead to unexpected issues, including tree root damage to sewer lines. This kind of damage can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and major headaches for policyholders.

When you discover tree root damage, call the sewer damage claim attorneys at Insurance Claim HQ. Our experienced lawyers can help you navigate the complicated world of sewer damage claims so you can focus on protecting your property. Sewer claims come with a unique set of issues, and not getting the help you deserve early on can end up costing you thousands in the long run.

In this article, we will cover why most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover sewer damage from tree roots, how you can get coverage, and common issues that come with these claims.

Why Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Tree Root Damage to Sewer Lines

Homeowners insurance typically only covers losses that are sudden, unavoidable, or unpredictable. Damage from tree roots, which grow and move slowly over long periods of time, generally doesn’t fit that description.

Your insurance company will likely argue that you knew the risk of tree root damage by having trees on your property, and that it was your responsibility as the homeowner to prevent it from happening by performing reasonable, routine maintenance. Unfortunately, this argument is very difficult to counter successfully.

There are some secondary costs that your homeowners insurance policy may cover. For example, your policy might kick in to cover water damage to your home from a clogged or backed up pipe. However, even when they do cover damage inside your home, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover any repairs to prevent further damage.

Again, insurance companies will likely claim that that damage was the result of your failure to maintain your property properly, even if you were unaware of any tree roots. That’s where having an experienced attorney can become invaluable. An experienced attorney can help you to prove that damage isn’t your responsibility and find a way to get the help you deserve.

How to Get Sewer Coverage and How it Works

Although most standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover sewer line damage related to tree roots, some do offer coverage for an additional charge. This additional coverage, often known as a rider, can ensure your sewer line repair is covered in the case of the major costs that come with a clogged or cracked pipe.

Common costs associated with repairing tree root damage to sewer lines include:

  • Excavation of sewer lines
  • Tree root removal
  • Repairing the broken section of sewer line
  • Backfilling the excavation site
  • Repairing landscaping

Although your rider may not cover all these costs, it may significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs when the repair bills come due.

If you are unsure what your rider covers, or if your insurance even offers this kind of coverage, call an experienced sewer damage attorney. They can help you translate the legalese of insurance policies and get the answers you need.

Related: Does Home Insurance Cover Sewer Lines?

Common Issues with Tree Root Damage Claims

When it comes to tree root claims, the main issue is how tree root damage is defined. Standard homeowners insurance policies typically don’t cover sewer line damage, whether caused by tree roots or otherwise. But even with an added rider, your homeowners insurance may still refuse to pay based on the condition of your sewer line.

Sewer damage to your home can be the result of clogged pipes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that tree roots damaged the pipe itself. Depending on the severity of the tree root infestation, your sewer lines may still be in-tact. If this is the case, your homeowner’s insurance may still cover water damage, but will not pay for any cost related to unclogging your pipes.

The location of your damage will also determine your coverage. Your homeowners insurance may try to blame damage on you when it is actually the city’s responsibility.

You shouldn’t have to pay for the city’s negligence. That’s why it’s also important to determine where the sewer line break is in relation to your property line.

How an Experienced Sewer Damage Claim Attorney Can Help

By hiring an experienced sewer damage claim attorney, you can save you and your loved ones from the headache of the claims process.

An experienced attorney can help you from the very beginning of your claim by carefully reviewing your homeowners insurance policy, gathering evidence, contacting independent contractors, building your claim, and even communicating with your insurance on your behalf. They can help you determine who is truly responsible for the damage, potentially saving you thousands.

And the earlier you speak with an attorney, the more likely they will be able to help you.

Insurance Claim HQ: Helping Claimants Navigate Complicated Sewer Damage Claims

We know how complicated tree root damage claims can be. That’s why, at Insurance Claim HQ, our team of experienced insurance claim attorneys are ready to help you.

We work with you to understand your homeowners insurance policy and hold your insurance company accountable to provide the coverage that they promised and that you paid for. Our lawyers can help you gather evidence, calculate the true value of your claim, and fight back against any bad faith from the insurance company.

If you or a loved one have found sewer damage due to tree roots and are unsure what to do next, call Insurance Claim HQ or contact us today to schedule your free consultation.


The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.