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How Sewer Backup Insurance Works In Ontario

Severe storms are causing a significant financial burden for Canadians. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that in 2023, these storms resulted in $3.1 billion in damages, making it the third-worst year in Canadian history. Notably, seven of the ten worst years for storm damage occurred within the past decade.

Aging sewer systems are increasingly being tested by more severe storms, leading to growing concerns about sewer backups. Surprisingly, your home insurance policy may not cover you for this critical risk.

What is a Sewer Backup?

A sewer backup occurs when wastewater flows back into your house from the city’s main sewer lines, often entering through basement floor drains. Blockages in plumbing or sewage systems can also cause sewer backups.

Sewer backups can result from various causes:

  • Heavy rainfall or melting snow overwhelming city sewer systems.
  • Sump pump failures due to power outages or missing backup batteries.
  • Aging or compromised sewer systems that are prone to breaking down.
  • Tree roots infiltrating and damaging sewer lines.
  • Blockages within the city’s sanitary system or your home’s plumbing.

Insurance Coverage for Sewer Backup

Standard home insurance does not usually include sewer backup coverage. However, you can opt for this as an additional endorsement. Maintaining your sewer and plumbing systems is essential to qualify for this coverage.

Adding sewer backup coverage to your home insurance policy typically costs between $150 to $300 per year, depending on factors like your home’s location and condition. Considering the potential cost of damage from sewer backups, this insurance offers valuable protection for:

  • Removal of sewage and water.
  • Replacement of damaged items, including furniture and appliances.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting affected areas.
  • Repairing damaged sewer lines.


Overall, experts estimate that the cost of repairing a sewer backup ranges from $7 to $14 per square foot, with most incidents costing between $2,000 and $10,000. In some cases, costs can soar to $50,000 or more. It is advisable to secure at least $100,000 in coverage.

Ottawa Subsidy Program for Backwater Valve Installation

In Ottawa, homeowners can take advantage of a subsidy program designed to help offset the cost of installing a backwater valve or sump pump. If your property has experienced sewer backups in the past or is located in a high-risk area, you may qualify for up to $1,000 in rebates.

Learn More and Apply:

Steps to Prevent Sewer Backups

Homeowners can take several measures to avert sewer backups:

Proper Waste Disposal

Avoid disposing of coffee grounds, grease, and other non-soluble items down the drain.

Redirect Water Flow Away from Your Home

Position downspouts at a minimum of 3-6 feet away from the house.

Utilize grass or flower beds instead of non-porous surfaces.

Install a Backwater Valve

This device prevents the backflow of water into your home if the city’s mains get overloaded.

Install a Sump Pump

A sump pump, which redirects water from a sump pit into the soil beneath your basement, is crucial for high-risk flood areas and should be checked regularly as it lasts 10-15 years.

Inspect Your Sewer Drains

Hire a professional plumber to perform a video inspection and snake your drains, costing $100 to $500, to preempt tree roots, cracks, and blockages.

Contact Licensed Plumber

It’s crucial to contact a licensed plumber if you notice:

  • Basement toilet overflows.
  • Sewage appearing in the bathtub or basement drains.
  • Difficulty flushing toilets post-rain.
  • Unpleasant odors emanating from drains.
  • Excessive bubbling in toilets or sinks.
  • Multiple fixtures draining slowly or clogging.

Contact AllDay Sewer Drain for Expert Plumbing Solutions!

Are you facing plumbing issues and need immediate assistance? Look no further than AllDay Sewer Drain in Ottawa! Our top-notch plumbing services are trusted by countless satisfied customers.