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How are your underground pipes?

by WayneTimes.com
June 29, 2024

A letter from an insurance agency is currently making the rounds regarding protecting yourself from a substantial outlay of money should the water or sewer lines from the road to your home fail. Many residents are not aware that they are responsible for that section of pipe. 

Should a large failure, leak, or rupture occur on your property, wouldn’t your homeowners insurance cover that damage and replacement/repair?

According to Progressive Insurance, you may not be covered by your homeowners insurance, but a rider can be added to your homeowners policy to ensure that you are covered. It is called a water/sewer line endorsement - also known as “buried utility lines coverage”  - and would also cover damage to  underground wires around your home. Even a small break in a water or sewer pipe could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair and may require the excavation of a lot of dirt. Your yard may need to be dug up and then backfilled once the repairs are completed. 

This policy/rider insurance would cover locating and repairing a line (including damaged seals), plus the costs of excavation, fusing, welding, and cutting. Coverage limits on a water/sewer line endorsement will vary by insurer. 

A letter informing residents about  this coverage is currently circulating from a company called HomeServe.  The Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority (WCWSA) is notifying residents that the coverage is not a requirement, but that the letters being sent out are from a reputable source.

If damage to the pipes is caused by something excluded from standard homeowners insurance - such as pipe damage is attributed to faulty construction or poor upkeep - repairs usually won’t be covered with the rider. 

The whole idea of purchasing extra insurance or an endorsement for damage is to encourage homeowners to take care of their pipes, according to Director Marty Aman, Executive Director of the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority. (WCWSA). 

Feeling better about being covered in case old sewer or water lines are compromised is a decision only the homeowner can make. 

If you know that the pipes to your home are older and in poor shape, and you might possibly be hit by a $3500 or more bill for repair, insurance might be for you. For a few dollars a month, this insurance and peace of mind might be worth it.  (Estimates are in the $40-$50 a year range for the policy)

 The coverage, like any insurance, is not required, but a hedge of bets for possible liability and out of pocket expenses, should damage occur.  “We are just here to alert residents to a service that does cover this need, if they are interested,” explained Aman.  He noted that WCWSA does not benefit from the program and it is not  a requirement.

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