Insurance won’t cover sewage-damaged apartments

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Dozens of Commerce City families have learned their insurance will not cover the damage caused when a sewage line backed up into their homes Tuesday.

“I’m still throwing trash out,” said John Weigel. “This was a bedroom here at one time.”

Clean-up crews gutted his basement after it was flooded with sewage.

“When I came down to check that morning it was right at the top of that step,” he said.

Now, as their belongings sit outside or in curbside storage units, these homeowners are learning their insurance won’t cover the damage.

“They said it’s because I didn’t have a clause in my insurance, not for flood but for backups in the sewer,” Weigel said. “There’s a little clause in there that I didn’t know about, I guess.”

Insurance experts say that little known endorsement could have saved these homeowners a lot of money and heartache.

“An inexpensive endorsement on your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover you for sewer backup,” said Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “It’s about $50 a year, it can be more depending on what type of property you have, how big it is, how much your risk is.”

As he waits to hear how much the water district will chip in for repairs, Weigel assessed his own costs.

“Probably to get it back to where it was maybe $15,000,” he said.

One thing’s for sure - he’s already checking into that additional coverage.

“Oh, definitely,” he said. “I’ve already talked to them about all that.”

The residents should hear how much the South Adams County Water and Sanitation District will cover for the damage. They should find out Friday afternoon.