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Danger Underground: Service Line Repairs


Part of what we do for our clients is to help them to manage their overall quality of life through their finances. We want our clients to feel secure in their retirement, getting there, or just managing their overall net worth.    

As you probably know, many unexpected expenses can chip into your financial well-being. We all know water heaters breaking, children’s/family medical bills, and missing time from work due to injury or illness can put serious dents in our financial progress. Thankfully, insurance is available to help alleviate and/or soften the financial blows. However, one of the biggest costs lurking around the corner may be right in your very yard.

1. Service Lines: What are they?

Chances are if you own a home, you have some sort of utility running through your yard. These utilities may include gas, sewer, water, and even electric in some cases. Very few people understand how complex the network of “life-support” their home has running to it from the road.

These pipes and lines, just like the ones in your home, are susceptible to damage. Freezing, tree roots, and even just simple unexpected failure can cause a huge problem for any homeowner.

2. Who’s responsibility is it?

We have all seen those utility trucks fixing water mains and doing work on gas lines in our towns. It truly looks like a very involved process. Little do many people know, the utility company’s responsibility ends at your property line. While they must maintain service in the road itself, they have no responsibility to maintain the line running from the road to your home; also known as the service line.

When service lines break, the homeowner is left flipping the bill.

3. The Solution

Thankfully, there is a solution. Just like many other types of homeowner’s/property insurance, there is now one designed for these types of losses. Several insurance companies now offer add-on policies covering this potential expense. Many of them are very reasonable and can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents that we can refer you to. In addition, many of these coverages provide living expense reimbursement as well, should you be displaced.

4. Example of Loss

        EXAMPLE 1: A tree root grew through a sewer line located on a homeowner's property. The line was 300 feet long, and required excavation to dig up the pipe and replace it. The cost to replace the line was $1,500 and the excavation of the line cost $5,000.

                Loss Total: $6,500

                Deductible: $500

                Insurance Recoverable: $6,000

        EXAMPLE 2: On a cold winter day, a water pipe leading from the street to a home froze and cracked. Emergency repairs were done to prevent increased damage, costing $6,500. When the weather warmed up, final repairs were made, costing $2,000. The family needed temporary living arrangements while the home was without water, costing $1,000.

                Loss Total: $9,500

                Deductible: $500

                Insurance Recoverable: $9,000

5. How do I insure against it?

We can make a friendly introduction to a property and casualty agent we trust to service our clients with care. They specialize in this insurance and other areas surrounding the protection of your home. The underwriting is straightforward and just a few questions can produce a quote. In addition, you may also choose to have your entire policy reviewed by them, at no cost.

6. Getting Started

If you would like more info on Service Line Coverage, we can make an introduction to an agent specializing in this insurance; that we trust to service our clients well. Please contact us directly. Your overall financial well-being is important to us. We are happy to help.