What’s your backup plan for protecting your home?


According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between 23,000 and 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows happen every year in the United States.1 Most homeowners insurance policies don’t automatically include coverage for sewer and drain backups. If you have a sewer backup in your home, think of everything that may need to be repaired or replaced once the water/sewage has been extracted: pipes/plumbing, ductwork, carpets/flooring, drapes, walls and damaged belongings. According to the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, the number of backed-up sewers is increasing 3% annually.2

A standard homeowners policy may provide limited coverage — if any — for sewage backup or sump pump backups.3 You can purchase an endorsement for backup coverage, but the limits may not provide the appropriate coverage you need for your high-value home and contents.

How you may be at risk

Let’s review the following scenarios and consider potential risks and associated costs:

  • Years of normal kitchen activity eventually cause your sewer line to clog and back up into your home. Your entire custom kitchen needs to be torn out and could take 6 months to restore, at the cost of $100,000.
  • You have extended family staying with you, and your bathroom overflows and floods into several adjoining rooms. The damage estimate is $250,000.
  • Your home’s sump pump fails due to a heavy rainstorm, causing water to back up in the finished basement of your home. It could cost $150,000 to restore the structural damage and replace your destroyed home theater and tarnished wine collection.

Would your insurance policy cover you in these situations? The Nationwide Private Client homeowners policy is designed with these scenarios in mind and will allow you to maintain your lifestyle should you need to be relocated during repairs.

How Nationwide® Private Client responds

With our homeowners policy, we offer sewer backup and drain coverage up to the policy limit (subject to the policy or state-specific deductible).

Our risk solutions professionals provide home surveys for eligible new Private Client policyholders to help identify additional ways you can protect your home and family — and possibly save you money on your premium by implementing protective measures.

Should you incur a water or sewage backup in your home or condominium, we allow you to work with the service professional of your choice to restore your home to its prior condition.

Why it’s important for you

Coverage for backups caused by sewers and drains is not the same as flood insurance. Talk to your agent about whether you are adequately protected for sewer and drain backups.

[1] “Sanitary Sewer Overflows,” epa.gov/npdes/sanitary-sewer-overflows-ssos (updated June 21, 2022).
[2] “Protect your house from sewer backups,” iii.org/article/protect-your-house-from-sewer-backups (accessed Sept. 26, 2022).
[3] The uncertainty about coverage for backups is based on the standard HO-3 policy. “Are there different types of policies?” iii.org/article/are-there-different-types-policies (accessed Sept. 26, 2022).

Each claim is handled on the basis of its individual facts and circumstances and in accordance with policy language, including applicable exclusions, conditions and limitations. This insurance overview is for informational purposes only and does not replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies, their endorsements or declarations pages, which are controlling. Terms and availability vary by state, and exclusions apply. Products are underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies, including Crestbrook Insurance, Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide Private Client are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2022 Nationwide PVR-0433AO.1 (11/22)