Last Updated: February 13, 2024
Did you know that as a homeowner, you’re responsible for all service lines that run under your home to the end of your property? Thankfully, there is one clear solution to any possible disaster that might occur on your personal property, and that is service line coverage.
What is service line coverage? Don’t worry; In this article, we’ll explain its purpose, how it works, and what it does and does not cover.
What Is Service Line Coverage?
From cable lines to water pipes, to power lines…anything that links your house to the outside world is your responsibility, and they are part of your personal property. You probably had a home inspection done before you moved in to ensure that all current service lines were in good condition; This personal acquisition is also why homeowners should think about adding service line coverage (also known as utility line insurance) to their homeowners’ insurance policy. Although your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of cleaning and repairs caused by a burst pipe within your home, it usually does not cover damage to underground service lines.
Some insurance companies have started selling a service line coverage endorsement that can be added to your homeowner’s insurance policy for an extra fee. Usually, a small amount of coverage is offered (often between $10,000-$25,000). This might not seem like much considering how much of a hassle a pipe explosion is, but this service may come in handy nonetheless. If your homeowner’s insurance policy does not offer this service line cover, you might be able to purchase it from a third party or purchase a warranty from your local utility company.
|DID YOU KNOW? If a line needs to be fixed or replaced, you might be looking at thousands of dollars in maintenance out of pocket without service line insurance. One homeowner reported that he’d spent over $20,000 on drainage line repairs, plus carpet and furniture replacement, due to a collapsing Orangeburg pipe. These are mostly found in New York and were introduced during WW2; These pipes are known to burst under pressure and are only meant to last 50 years. New Yorkers who have not looked into getting service line insurance may want to consider so now!
How Does Service Line Coverage Work?
You might be a homeowner who has a home warranty, but not home insurance, which poses the question: Does home warranty cover repairs of damage to service lines?
The key systems in a building, such as heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical, are covered by a home warranty, as well as larger home appliances. Home insurance covers damage to a house’s structure and a homeowner’s personal property from fires, theft, rain, trees, flooding, and other disasters. You can add on service line coverage to your insurance policy, but not your home warranty, as home warranty covers systems within the home or building, not those surrounding it.
(Read more on home warranty vs homeowners insurance to get more details.)
One question that often pops up is “Does homeowners insurance cover water line breaks or any damages made to my underground service line?” Here’s your answer: Damaged service lines running under your yard and house are not covered by regular homeowners insurance policy. If you want to have it covered, you’ll have to pay for an endorsement.
So, what is service line coverage and what does it actually cover then? Service line coverage prevents homeowners from paying out of pocket for damage to their underground power lines. Service line coverage includes a variety of lines that can incur damage, such as:
- Water lines
- Fuel and gas lines
- Internet lines
- Sewer lines
- Underground electrical wiring
- Underground phone/communication lines
- Underground cable lines
- Waste disposal
Only service lines that are outside of the home structure (like underground) are covered by service line coverage. The power company is responsible for lines that extend overhead from a telephone pole.
|DID YOU KNOW? To secure an actual house, as well as the home’s structure and equipment, homeowners must have home insurance and a home warranty. If a malfunctioning device or machine causes harm to the home’s construction or the homeowner’s possessions, a home warranty may help cover the cost of repairs or replacement due to wear and tear. If you’re considering whether you should renew your home warranty or not, you should.
What Is and Isn’t Covered by Service Line Coverage
Imagine this scenario: You came outside to water your lawn and were greeted by soggy soil and a foul smell overshadowing your personal property. After some digging, you find out that this might be caused by a ruptured sewer line that goes straight under your home. Are you thinking: do homeowners insurance cover sewer line ruptures?
If you are, we’re going to help you out—the answer would be a solid no.
Ruptures and breaks of service lines (such as water pipes and sewer lines) are only protected through service line coverage, so if you don’t have one, it means you’re paying out of pocket. Say, however, you buy an endorsement and add service line coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, you later come to find it does not offer financial aid to wiring or pipe relocations.
That is one example of why it’s crucial to know what service line coverage actually covers. The following are some losses that a typical homeowners insurance service line policy endorsement would cover:
- Repair of damage to service lines
- Expediting expenses
- Costs of excavation
- Property maintenance in the open air (to repair damage to your property and other property in the process)
- Loss of use or increased living costs (in the event you are unable to remain in your home until repairs are complete)
When comparing policies or contracts, bear in mind that you will almost always need to pay a deductible with your service line coverage.
Does homeowners insurance cover septic systems? This would be another solid no, as homeowners insurance does not actually cover the septic system itself. If you think that something might be covered by service line coverage, you might want to read the fine print before getting that endorsement. There are several holes in most service line coverage endorsements. Some of the most common include:
- Wiring or pipe relocation
- Replacement of water wells, engines, and pumps
- Septic systems
- Damage caused by dismantled, serviced, or mounted service lines
- Wiring, piping, and other cables that run through a building or body of water
|DID YOU KNOW? Some damage caused by all of these disasters, despite being covered by service line coverage, may cause direct damage to larger appliances and systems within your home. That is also why it’s important to look into the top-rated home warranty companies since they handle all catastrophes inside the home.
|Homeowners are responsible for the service lines that run under their home, as well as any damage done to them
|Problems with your underground power lines are covered by service line coverage, which prevents homeowners from having to pay out of pocket; They are usually paid as an endorsement to your homeowner’s insurance policy
|Losses covered by a standard homeowners insurance with a service line coverage endorsement include: repair of damage to service lines, costs of excavation, and expediting expenses
|However, most service line coverage endorsements have some very specific exclusions, including the relocation of wiring or pipes, replacement of water wells, motors, or pumps, and septic systems
How Much Does Service Line Coverage Cost?
Problems with your underground service line can happen at any time. Even if you aren’t at fault, these mishaps will cost you money. Utility providers almost never take responsibility; instead, it is up to the consumer to pay the bill. If your sewer line is destroyed, the cost of repair can range from $1,000 to $4,000, with an average of $2,556—And that’s just for the repair of the sewer line itself. That is one example out of many that investing in a service line coverage endorsement to your homeowner’s insurance policy is smart.
Service line coverage cost is actually not as pricey as you might think, as it’s considered a small additional premium to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Service line coverage typically runs between $20 and $50 a year in extra insurance premiums. Before the policy kicks in, you will have to pay a deductible which is normally $500, although this could change based on your provider. Service line coverage is a worthwhile investment due to the benefits outweighing the expense, and you’ll be thankful when water pipes suddenly burst or a cable line is chewed.
|DID YOU KNOW? A water line break occurs roughly a quarter-million times each year, wasting water, disrupting services, and causing property damage. This happens about every two minutes in the United States. Is water line insurance worth it? The answer is a 100% yes.
Homeowners are responsible for any service lines that run under their house, and any damages that might occur to them. Destruction to your underground power lines is covered by service line coverage (otherwise known as utility line insurance), which prevents homeowners from having to pay extra for repairs. For a low monthly charge, service line coverage will shield you from large bills for excavating and fixing service lines. Service line coverage varies by provider in terms of what is and isn’t covered; Some losses are actually not covered, such as water well harm, HVAC systems, fuel tanks, lines that run underneath your home but aren’t connected, and septic systems.
Water, heating, cable, internet, and other utilities are transported to and from your home via underground service lines. These underground pipes or wires can easily be damaged by leaks, cracks, or collapses, resulting in expensive repairs. Damage to any underground power lines is covered by your service line coverage, preventing you from having to pay to fix them.
Water damage incurred by household plumbing and systems is covered by homeowners insurance to some extent, but damage to service lines running under your property is usually not covered.
Service line coverage is a smart thing to invest in if you’re a homeowner. Again, what is service line coverage? It’s coverage for damage to your underground power lines so you don’t have to pay out of pocket. For a low monthly charge, service line coverage will shield you from large bills for excavating and fixing service lines.