In the event a property owner may experience damages and clean-up costs due to an unexpected sanitary sewer backup, it is the intent of the City Staff and City Council to provide prompt, friendly, and fair consideration when determining if property owners should be compensated for the damages and costs associated with said backup when it occurs through no fault of the property owner.
The City strongly encourages all citizens to purchase sanitary sewer backup insurance at part of their homeowner’s insurance policy.
Your online submission will be sent to the Risk Management Coordinator. The form will be reviewed for completion and additional information such as pictures, an itemized inventory of items damaged and estimates for clean-up and/or repair of damages may be requested. Once all necessary information is received, the claim will be forwarded to the City’s liability insurance carrier for further processing. If the City’s liability insurance company settles the claim, a Waiver of Liability will be signed and the claim will be closed. If it is determined that the City’s liability insurance will not pay for the damages, the claimant will be notified of the denial in writing.
If the claim is denied by the City’s liability insurance, it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to submit a claim to their homeowner’s insurance company. All information received by the City will be given to the homeowner’s insurance company upon request. If the homeowner’s insurance company settles the claim, the claim will be closed.
Final Request for Consideration
If the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance company denies payment for the claim, the property owner may then make a written request to the City through the Risk Management Coordinator for final consideration of payment directly from the City by the City Council. The property owner must present the following information along with their letter of request:
- Letters of denial from both the City’s liability insurance and their homeowner’s insurance company;
- Pictures documenting the damage for which compensation is being requested;
- Itemized list of property damaged with estimated values for which the property owner is requesting compensation.
Once the above items are received, the Risk Management Coordinator will prepare a report on facts of the case and will submit it along with all previously received information to the City Manager for review. The City Manager will review the information and make a recommendation to the City Council for appropriate action.
Guidelines for Consideration
The following guidelines will be followed in determining payments by the City for damages caused by sanitary sewer backups; however, there may be extraordinary circumstances that will require discretion by the City Manager and City Council:
- If the blockage is located between the house and the main sewer, no payment will be made unless the blockage is on public right of way and is caused by the lack of maintenance by the City.
- If the blockage is located in the sewer main and the City’s insurance company denies the claim, all information will be reviewed to determine if blockage could have been prevented by the City.
- If the property owner has made previous claims for similar circumstances and has not attempted to correct certain deficiencies within their home or building, no payment will be made.
Payment of Claims
If it is determined by the City Council that payment should be made by the City for damages to the property owner’s items, the City Manager will review the list of damaged items. The City Manager or his/her designee will contact the property owner to request at least three (3) estimates for the repair and/or replacement of the items listed. These estimates must be in writing and presented by the property owner. The City Manager will review the estimates and will determine how the payment will be made. Written confirmation of the payment terms will be sent to the property owner. The City Manager may include a list of certain suggested repairs or improvements that the property owner should do to avoid further problems. If these suggested items are not completed by the property owner prior to another incident, the City will deny any further compensation.
A Waiver of Liability must be signed prior to the property owner receiving any compensation.
Total compensation per claim per property is limited to 80% of the total damages approved not to exceed $2,000.