Do home warranties cover septic systems?

Check septic system coverage to avoid costly surprises later

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septic tanks in the backyard of a home

Maybe the most dreaded of home system breakdowns is the septic system. A malfunction can, at best, prevent your toilets from flushing — at the very worst, it can leave your yard a cesspool of stinkiness. Fortunately, most home warranty companies cover at least some septic system problems.

Key insights

  • Home warranties often cover septic systems as an extended package option or plan.
  • There are limitations to what your home warranty company will cover.
  • You may need to pay some of the repair costs out of pocket.

What septic system services does a home warranty cover?

A home warranty typically covers septic systems. However, these systems may not be included in the base package, meaning you’ll need to pay a little more for coverage.

Some septic system problems your home warranty may cover include:

  • Clearing out blockages in the main line
  • Septic tank pumping
  • Sewage ejector pump, aerobic pump and jet pump replacement or repairs
  • Septic tank damage

Potential exclusions to septic system home warranty coverage

When it comes to what your home warranty covers for septic systems, a few repairs may not make the cut. If sewer lines outside your house's foundation get broken or collapse, that may be out of the warranty's scope. Also, if you're thinking about chemical treatments for your septic tank or sewer lines or you need to get rid of waste, those costs may be on you.

If you have an issue with roots or blockages a sewer machine cable can't fix from the outside, your warranty may not cover you. And if you need to dig around to find your septic tank or connect to sewer hook-ups, or if there's work needed on the tank itself, the leach lines, cesspool or any mechanical pumps or systems, home warranty plans may not include those, either.

Claim denials

Even if you don’t have any of these problems, there are still a few reasons your claim might be denied. These include the following:

  • Preexisting problems with the septic system
  • Failure to properly maintain the septic system
  • Septic systems that are still under warranty through a homebuilders warranty, third-party warranty or manufacturer’s warranty

» MORE: What is a homebuilders warranty?

Coverage caps

Your home warranty company may also cap your coverage at a certain amount. This means you’ll need to pay for any repairs above and beyond the cap. For example, if your septic system repair costs are $15,000 and your plan caps coverage at $10,000, you’ll need to pay the last $5,000 on your own.

What to do if your home warranty doesn’t cover septic systems

If your home warranty plan doesn’t cover septic systems, you can usually upgrade to another package or plan to gain coverage. Make sure to research what’s actually covered in terms of repair and replacement, and note any coverage caps as well as any exclusions or limitations.

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What does a home warranty typically cover?

Home warranties usually cover large appliances, built-in microwaves, water heaters and systems like HVACs, plumbing, ductwork, pool heaters and well pumps. Some plans also cover additional items like pest control, septic systems, central vacuums, sump pumps and more.

Do home warranty policies cover water damage?

In most cases, home warranties don’t cover water damage. These plans usually do cover the repairs or replacement of systems and appliances in the home that can cause leaks, like septic systems.

Does American Home Shield cover septic systems?

Yes, but the company’s coverage is limited to blockages and ejector pump problems.

Bottom line

With a little maintenance and a good home warranty plan, your septic system can last up to 40 years. For the best protection, ensure your policy covers a wide range of problems, and carefully examine the policy caps.

Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Liberty Home Guard, “Septic System Home Warranty Coverage.” Accessed Feb. 11, 2024.
  2. American Home Shield, “Septic Tank Warranty Coverage.” Accessed Feb. 11, 2024.
  3. Select Home Warranty, “Septic System Warranty: Why Do I Need One?” Accessed Feb. 11, 2024.
  4. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, “The Ins and Outs of Septic Systems in Pennsylvania.” Accessed Feb. 11, 2024.
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