Sen. Napoleon Harris

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris, III advanced a measure on Tuesday to increase transparency of homeowner insurance policy coverage.

“When you choose a homeowner insurance policy you should have a full picture of what the policy covers,” said Harris (D-Harvey). “This legislation empowers homeowners to make educated financial decisions about their homeowner 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. Further, the measure would require insurance companies to offer the policyholder an opportunity to purchase this coverage if the policy does not already include it.

This legislation was filed in response to flooding in the Berwyn and Cicero area 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.

“Increasing transparency in homeowner insurance policies is a good first step in ensuring residents are equipped with the knowledge to make decisions that are in the best interests of their families,” said Harris.

House Bill 5357 passed the Senate’s Insurance Committee on Tuesday with bipartisan support.