Sen. Harris

SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners across Illinois may have a new law on the books to increase transparency of insurance policy coverage, thanks to State Senator Napoleon B. Harris, III.

“When residents select their homeowner insurance policy it is crucial that they have a full picture of what the policy covers,” said Harris (D-Harvey). “This legislation will enable homeowners to make educated financial decisions about their insurance policies.”

House Bill 5357 would require an insurer to disclose whether a homeowner's insurance policy covers damage from a sewer backup or overflow from a sump pump when issuing or quoting a homeowner's policy. Also, the legislation would require insurance companies to offer the policyholder an opportunity to purchase this additional coverage if the policy does not already include it.

This initiative was filed in response to flooding in Burnham, Calumet City, Dolton and South Holland where many residents discovered that their homeowner insurance policies did not cover damages from a sewer backup or overflow from a sump pump.

According to the Illinois Independent Insurance Agents, a busted sewer line can cost up to $30,000 to repair and replace.

“Ensuring homeowner insurance policies are clear and concise is a good first step in helping residents be armed with the information to make sound decisions that are in the best interests of their loved ones,” said Harris.

House Bill 5357 passed the Senate with bipartisan support on Thursday.