The coverage options for home insurance in the United States are vast: eight different types of coverage – HO-1 through HO-8 – allow you to get what you want without splurging on excessive and insignificant features. However, basic homeowners insurance does not cover plumbing and drainage, which is a gap that must be filled for those intolerant to such risks.
The breakdown of the continuous ‘freshwater – wastewater’ cycle may cost an arm and a leg for unprotected homeowners. Thousands of dollars may go down the drain should one of the pipes burst at the most inconvenient time. The loss of water can reach over 50,000 gallons per year.
But you can mitigate, if not downright eliminate, plumbing and drainage-associated risks by buying or adding the right plumbing and drainage cover to your homeowners policy. Read on to learn what plumbing and drainage cover is, why you may need it, and how to choose the best policy.
Plumbing and drainage cover (also known as drain plumbing cover, drain pipe cover, boiler plumbing and drainage cover, home emergency cover, or home plumbing insurance) is an addition to a homeowners policy that covers various drain-related problems from a dripping tap to leaky pipes to drain blockage. Plumbing and drainage coverage may also be part of boiler coverage and other related coverages.
Whether you need plumbing and drainage cover depends on the state of these systems, how you use them, how many people live in your house, your risk tolerance, budget, and other possible factors.
Drain problems may stem from objective and subjective causes:
Most plumbing and drainage issues can be covered by plumbing and drainage insurance, which you can buy as a separate policy or addition to your homeowners insurance.
Most policies include blockage and water supply disruption coverage (issues with drains, pipes, sinks, toilets, and water supply), but there may be more coverage depending on the plan.
A good plumbing and drainage plan will include everything needed to fix your plumbing and drainage problems, including:
An extensive plan may extend to your heating system, boilers, and even pest infestations.
Whether you need plumbing and drainage insurance and how much coverage is needed depends on your risk tolerance, budget, how old is your house and its systems, how you maintain it, and more. It is advisable that you have coverage for damage caused by natural perils (floods, fire, earthquakes, storms, etc.), explosions, fallen objects, collisions, busted or frozen pipes, and vandalism.
When choosing your plumbing and drainage policy, take the following factors into account:
Last but not least, choose insurers that provide certified technicians and a 24/7 helpline so that you can reach a specialist in the shortest time should an emergency occur.
A home warranty is a contract between you and your home warranty company that facilitates discounted repair or replacement of the named home’s components. The components may vary depending on the warranty, but almost any warranty includes plumbing and drainage coverage.
When you purchase a home (whether it is new or not), chances are you will be offered a home warranty. Note, however, that it is not the same as homeowners insurance.
Among the best home warranty providers for plumbing and drainage in the United States are Home Service Club, Select Home Warranty, Choice Home Warranty, and Liberty Home Guard. Check these out to identify a plan that suits your needs.
Whether you are looking for plumbing and drainage cover from an insurer or a warranty provider, you have dozens of options in the United States. Among the best insurers are:
When choosing your plan, pay attention to the type and amount of coverage, the deductible, the number of claims you can make per year, and your budget and risk tolerance. Last but not least, don’t forget to explore available bonuses to lower your premium and get the best deal.
When shopping for plumbing and drainage cover in the United Kingdom, choose a provider regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a state-run regulator overseeing insurance in the UK.
Over a dozen prominent UK insurers offer plumbing and drainage cover, including British Gas, Smart Cover, Home Serve, Home Emergency Assist, Hometree, Prominence Support, Big Warranties, and more. To choose the best offer, among other things, pay attention to the monthly premium and the excess (deductible). The range of monthly costs of plumbing and drainage cover is £1 to £10, with the deductible varying from £0 to around £50.
Whether buying plumbing and drainage coverage is worth it depends on the age and location of your house, the systems installed on your property, your risk tolerance and budget, how many people live in your house, how you maintain plumbing and drainage, and more.
Keep in mind that issues are likely to arise as your house ages and its plumbing and drainage systems wear out. There’s very little chance you will never need plumbing and drainage cover.
You can buy plumbing and drainage cover independently, as a part of some other cover (for example, boiler cover), or include it in your homeowners policy.
Most standard homeowners policies do not include drain coverage, but you can add this type of coverage to your policy. Note, however, that problems that arise from lack of maintenance are usually not reimbursed.
Also, whether you will be held responsible for a collapsed drain depends on the country, state, and whether the drain is within your property. For example, in the United Kingdom, lateral drains and sewers located outside the policyholder’s property are the responsibility of the respective sewerage company.
Some issues can be fixed on your own.
If the drain is blocked, you can:
If none of the above helps resolve your drainage problem, it’s time to call your insurer.
Excess (deductible) is an amount you must pay out of pocket before your policy kicks in. For example, if the excess on your policy is $100, you will have to pay $100 out of pocket, while the rest will be covered by your insurance (up to the policy limits).
As a tenant, you don’t need to buy plumbing and drainage cover. However, you must inform your landlord of existing issues with drainage and plumbing. After that, your landlord or letting agent should take care of it.
Oleksandr is an expert in deep research. He covers various insurance topics across verticals, adopting to every local law.