Helping Businesses Navigate Sewer Backup Coverage after Water Damage and Sewage Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth helps walk businesses through the process of sewage damage cleanup, as well as dealing with the insurance company.
SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is available 24/7, 365 days a year, when a business needs the services of a commercial water damage restoration company. When a water damage disaster involves a sewage spill, the cleanup project requires trained professionals equipped with the right equipment and appropriate PPG. The skilled and experienced team knows how to work safely and efficiently in a hazardous environment to enable the company to resume normal business operations as soon as possible.
A Commercial Sewage Damage Scenario
The business owner arrives early to open the facility, turn on the lights, power up equipment, and prepare for the day. A terrible smell and a flooded office and showroom greet her. She winds her way through the maze of sludge and locates the source of the sewage backup at the office restrooms. Further investigation reveals a similar situation in the workers’ restrooms adjacent to the production floor.
The entire facility must be shut down. The sewage spread throughout the facility is unsanitary, and the slippery, buckled flooring in the office, showroom, and production area creates unsafe conditions that can lead to a slip-and-fall injury. Employees tracking through the spillage can have the unintended consequence of expanding the hazard zone, which increases the cost of the cleanup and restoration and delays the return to normal business operations.
Navigating Sewer Backup Coverage for Businesses
An article in The Balance, an online resource for small businesses, addresses an important question regarding a sewage backup and insurance coverage. “Will the damage be covered by your commercial property policy? The answer may be no. Most property policies contain a broad water exclusion that precludes (among other things) damage caused by water that backs up or overflows from a sewer, drain, or sump pump. Fortunately, you can protect your business from expensive sewer backup incidents by purchasing sewer backup coverage.”
An insurance company may provide an option for adding sewer backup coverage to a commercial property policy. If the discharge of water or waterborne material originates from a sewer, drain, or sump located on the property and named in the sewer backup endorsement, the loss will be covered.
Coverage extends to the cost of cleanup and restoration for the building and the repair or replacement of personal property damaged by sewer water. Repair of the sewer, drain, or sump itself is not covered.
A company with business income coverage may consider extending the coverage to include sewage backups. A major sewage spill could force the shutdown of normal business operations. The insurer will not pay expenses for a property damage loss or an income loss that exceeds the limits stated in the sewage backup endorsement.
Common Insurance Coverage Exclusions
Some exclusions apply, including the following:
- A sewage backup resulting from a flood, storm surge, or tidal wave
However, a business covered under the federal flood program is covered if the sewage backup is directly caused by a flood.
- A sewer backup or discharge resulting from failure to perform routine maintenance or repair
If the policyholder fails to keep sewer pipes free of tree roots and a backup occurs, damages will not be covered.
- A sewage backup from sump pump failure due to a power outage
Damages caused by sump pump failure due to a power outage are not covered unless the policy includes utility interruption coverage. If the sewage backup results from the sudden mechanical breakdown of the sump pump or its related equipment, damages will be covered.
Business and property owners are strongly advised to review their insurance coverage, including endorsements, with their insurance agent. The proactive decision to pre-qualify a reputable property damage cleanup and restoration company can save valuable time in a business where time is money. In addition, hiring a professional restoration and cleaning company eliminates the liability risks that are present when employees are tasked with cleaning up sewage. Trust the restoration experts at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for commercial water damage restoration, as well as fire and storm damage cleanup and restoration. The locally owned and operated SERVPRO can scale to handle any size disaster.
For more information about sewage cleanup and water damage restoration in Haltom City, TX, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth by email at office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com or call the office at (817) 741-5737.