My well is horizontally fed through a wall in my foundation. It recently rained a lot and I believe the pipe that feeds my well has been cracked. I had to cut the power to my well pump in order to stop water rushing out of a basement wall. I am estimating this will be an extremely expensive fix; so my question is this, does homeowner's insurance often cover this type of situation?

As a side note, in regards to the severity: my basement was completely flooded with water, but I've soaked most of it up and pushed the remainder down the sump.

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    Nobody here can guess what your specific policy says. Read the policy and it will tell you what is covered and, more importantly, what is NOT covered. In the insurance business the policy is what binds the company to pay, not anything you might expect or what an agent promises. – jwh20 Sep 28 '19 at 12:43
  • As far as the well pipe itself, I had a similar problem recently although in my case the water was not entering the basement just going somewhere else. The PVC pipe had simply cracked underground. I hired an underground drilling company to bore in a new HDPE line from the pump to the basement and then a plumber to make the connections again. Total was about $1500, $1000 for the drilling and $500 for the plumber. – jwh20 Sep 28 '19 at 12:46
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a legal question that depends on your policy's language. – Daniel Griscom Sep 28 '19 at 14:44
  • Go ahead and close/delete it I have no water and my supply is broken. Bigger fish to fry atm – hexagod Sep 28 '19 at 18:44

The only person who will know for sure what your home owners policy covers will be your insurance agent. Best we could do is guess. I honestly have no idea.

As far as the expense of repair, it depends on how much of the labor you can do yourself. Excavators aren't exactly cheap to rent, but they aren't thousands of dollars either. Pipe itself is usually fairly cheap, unless it's large diameter copper.

  • I'm asking if it's ever covered – hexagod Sep 28 '19 at 3:30
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    @hexagod if you asked for that coverage then you have it... if you did not then you may not have it... that’s how they keep the price down. – Solar Mike Sep 28 '19 at 4:33

The flooding is most liklely covered. Disappointing, though, that your sump pump didn't handle this.

The mechanical repairs, I would expect not, since it's maintenance like replacing a roof. However you can always check, and also look into any home warranty that might have been part of the purchase.

Well work can indeed be insanely expensive, but that mainly applies to work that needs to go down hundreds of feet of well. This seems like a pipe break not at the well but in the piping between well and house. That may be much better.

I would start by digging it up and looking at what's going on. You can hand dig it for free, and if you're careful you shouldn't do any damage to metal pipes. That's the worst nightmare, someone "going to town" with a backhoe and shredding the pipe, the sewer tile, the cable TV lateral, etc.

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    I would call 811 anyway though -- direct buried electrical or communications lines can be damaged by careless hand-digging... – ThreePhaseEel Sep 28 '19 at 5:22
  • Why is it maintenance if the pipe cracked during a rain storm? – Lee Sam Sep 28 '19 at 6:30
  • @LeeSam why is it maintenance if the roof starts leaking during a rain storm? Seriously you don't know til you get down there and look. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 28 '19 at 15:07
  • @Harper Its not the occurrence of water. Water is the result of what happened. If the shingles blew off or the flashing blew away, that’s a claim. If nothing happened to the roofing, but the roof leaked, that’s maintenance. – Lee Sam Sep 28 '19 at 15:50
  • It's a question of whether extreme weather caused freak damage, or if normal weather was simply the last straw for a worn-out thing. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 28 '19 at 15:56

It is covered if the event occurred suddenly and it is not covered if it occurred over time.

Be careful when describing what occurred to your insurance agent. If they can prove (or at least contend) that it occurred over time, they will claim its maintenance.

If you convey to them that it occurred suddenly, then it’s not maintenance and is covered.

I would not tell them you turned the pump off. I’d say, “The storm caused a crack in the conduit which apparently shut the pump off during the storm and then caused leaks into your basement.” (I would not say the ground shifted, because that may be specifically excluded.)

P.S. I hate insurance companies. I’ve had to deal with them my whole career. They will also tell you it should only cost “x” because they fixed one like that last year in a town a few miles away...or something like that. (I live in an area that is somewhat isolated and the cost of construction is 10% - 25% higher than nearby towns.) Do not accept a lump sum payment. Get bids and have the work completed. (Unexpected problems can come up during construction so you won’t know the “final” cost until you’re finished.)

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