What is Service Line Coverage?
Service line coverage refers to an insurance policy that covers repairing or replacing the underground pipes and utility lines that connect a home to the public utility systems. These pipes and lines — also known as service lines — deliver essential services such as water, gas, and electricity to the home.
Without this coverage, you could be responsible for repairing or replacing your utility lines. Adding this coverage can offer financial protection for unexpected and potentially expensive repairs. As such, it’s essential if you want to protect your property and budget from unforeseen expenses related to your home’s utility systems.
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Protecting Your Home Beyond The Structure
When you buy a home, you usually consider most expenses, from mortgage payments to property taxes, maintenance, and repairs. One expense you may not consider is the service lines that connect utilities to your home. Damage or failure to these lines can result in costly repairs that can quickly add up.
Depending on the service line you need to be repaired or replaced, you could look at costs from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. Surprisingly to most homeowners, these damages are not usually covered by standard homeowner’s insurance.
How Does Service Line Coverage Work?
Service line coverage works as a separate insurance policy that covers repairs or replacements to the underground pipes and utility lines that connect a home to public utility systems. This coverage is typically not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy.
When damage or failure occurs to a service line, and you have coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company to cover the cost of repairs or replacements. This coverage can include costs associated with excavation, repair, or replacement of the damaged line and even landscaping or restoration of the property after the repair. Unlike a standard home insurance policy — which typically covers damage to the actual structure of your home — service line coverage specifically addresses the utility lines that serve your property.
What’s Included in Service Line Coverage?
Service line coverage typically covers damage and failures to underground utility lines that connect a home to public utility systems. This critical coverage helps pay for the cost of repairs for:
- Water line breaks or leaks: If a water line leading to the home ruptures, it can cause water damage to the property.
- Sewer line backups: If a sewer line leading to the home becomes blocked, it can result in sewage backup and damage to the property.
- Gas line leaks: If a gas line leading to the home develops a leak, it can result in a gas leak and potential fire hazard.
- Power line failures: If a power line leading to the home fails, it can cause a power outage or electrical damage to the property.
Types of Service Lines Included in Service Line Coverage
This insurance typically covers the underground utility lines that connect a home to public utility systems. The specific types of lines covered may vary by policy but can include the following:
- Communications lines
This coverage may also include associated piping, valves, and other equipment necessary for the functioning of these systems.
What’s Not Included in Service Line Coverage?
This insurance typically does not cover the following:
- Damage or failures caused by natural disasters
- Intentional acts
- Normal wear and tear
- Damage to the physical structure of the home
- Personal property
Additionally, some policies may have specific exclusions for particular service lines, such as oil or propane lines. These exclusions are in place to limit the insurer’s liability and prevent fraudulent claims.
How Much Does Service Line Coverage Cost?
How much you pay for coverage will depend on several factors, including your home’s location, age and condition of the service lines, and coverage limits and deductibles chosen when you purchased the policy. As an estimate, you can expect to pay between $50 to $200 per year.
Coverage limits vary by policy but range from $10,000 to $25,000 or more. Deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000 or more. You will want to determine how long your service lines are and which part you are responsible for versus your town or city. Remember to read your policy carefully to know what is covered and excluded.
Should You Get Service Line Coverage?
Whether or not to get protection against service line failures depends on individual circumstances and risks. Homeowners with older homes or properties in areas with extreme weather conditions or high risk for utility line damage may benefit from this coverage. Reviewing policy details and comparing costs and coverage options is essential to make an informed decision.
Consider Service Line Coverage If…
When considering insurance for service pipe incidents, you should first evaluate the age and condition of their home and service lines. Older homes and properties located in areas with extreme weather conditions are at a higher risk for damage. You should also consider your budget and weigh the potential cost of repairs if you do not have a policy.
You could still benefit from coverage even if you do not live in a high-risk area. If you cannot afford unexpected service line repairs or replacements and want to ensure you have full coverage for all utility lines, you may want to consider getting a policy.
This insurance provides several advantages, including:
- Protection against unexpected repair costs: It can help cover the cost of repairs or replacements for damaged or failed utility lines, preventing you from spending your own cash.
- Multiple service lines included: It can provide coverage for all utility lines, including water, sewer, gas, electric, and communications lines, which can make you feel well protected.
- Reduced stress for you: Knowing that service line damage or failure is covered can provide comfort, reducing stress and worry about unexpected repair costs.
While this policy can provide valuable protection for your home, there are also some drawbacks to consider, including:
- Limited coverage: It may have limits on coverage amounts and specific exclusions that may not cover all types of service line damage.
- Cost: It can add an additional cost to your insurance premiums, which may not be affordable for some. Also, if you never use it, you may feel like you spend that money for nothing.
- Overlap with other coverage: You may already have coverage for service lines through a home warranty or utility company, which can create overlap and cause unnecessary expenses.
How to Get Service Line Coverage
If you want to get coverage for underground service lines, you can follow these steps:
- Contact your insurance company. You can contact your insurance company to inquire about adding this coverage to your policy.
- Compare policy options. You should compare policy options from multiple insurance companies to find the best coverage at the most affordable price.
- Review policy details. It’s important to carefully review policy details to understand coverage amounts, limits, deductibles, and exclusions.
- Purchase coverage. You can usually add this coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy via an endorsement, for additional premium.
How to Make a Service Line Coverage Claim
To file a claim, you can follow these steps:
- Contact your insurance company. You should contact your insurance company as soon as you discover damage or failure to a service line on your property.
- Document the damage. It’s important to document the damage to the service line and any resulting damage to the property, such as water damage or structural damage. Take photos, keep copies of estimates, and write everything down. Provide all of this to the insurer.
- Wait for approval. The insurance company will review the claim and either approve or deny coverage based on policy details and the extent of the damage.
- Begin repairs. If the claim is approved, you can begin repairs with the insurance company’s help; they may provide recommendations for contractors they prefer.
Putting it All Together
In conclusion, service line coverage is a type of insurance that covers repairs or replacement costs for service lines that are damaged or fail on your property. Covered service lines include water lines, sewer lines, and electrical lines.
This coverage can help you protect yourself from expensive repairs or replacement costs not covered by your standard homeowners insurance policy. It can also provide peace of mind and protection against unexpected expenses. Contact your insurance company today to discuss your service line coverage options.