What is service line coverage?

12 Aug

Homeowners insurance will typically provide coverage for water damage to your home that is caused by leaks in your pipes or other plumbing systems. However, there are certain service lines that are excluded from homeowners coverage and repairing these lines can be very expensive.

Service lines can be water, sewer, cable and even power lines that come into your home, typically underground, and when these lines fail, the cost to repair them can be in the thousands. However, many insurance companies offer a service line endorsement to their policies which can help cover repair costs if service lines fail.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about service line coverage and how it can help save you thousands on repairs if your homes service lines are damaged. 

What is service line coverage?

It is your responsibility as a homeowner to keep the subterranean lines or pipes running through your property properly maintained and the cost to repair them when they fail also falls to you as the homeowner. This means that if your water, sewer or power line breaks or needs a repair, you are on the hook for those costs. 

A standard homeowners insurance policy excludes coverage for service lines, but most insurers offer service line coverage as an endorsement or add-on to their policies. While coverage can vary by insurer, in most cases, this endorsement will cover the cost of repairing or replacing utility lines if they are damaged. It will also cover the cost of excavation and restoring your landscaping as most service lines are located under the ground. 

There may be deductible that you will have to pay before coverage kicks in but that varies by insurer, some insurance companies do not have a deductible with their service line coverage. 

What exactly does service line coverage cover?

Service line coverage covers a wide variety of damage, here are some examples of covered damage:

  • Rust, corrosion, and deterioration
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Electrical breakdown
  • Tree or root-caused damage
  • Vermin, insects, or rodent damage
  • Freezing
  • Damage to equipment being on the lines, this includes vehicles, animals, or people
  • Collapse of the line

It should be noted that coverage will vary by insurer so always read your policy to verify what is covered and what type of damage is excluded. 

What service lines are covered?

Service line coverage usually protects a wide variety of pipes and other service lines. Here are just some of the more common lines it protects:

  • Water pipes
  • Steam pipes
  • Sewer pipes
  • Drain pipes
  • Power lines
  • Fiber optics
  • Cable lines
  • Internet lines
  • Natural gas pipes
  • Sprinkler system pipes

Again, it should be noted that coverage varies by insurer so always read the policy in full to determine what is covered and what is excluded. 

What service line coverage doesn’t cover?

There are exclusions with service line coverage. While exclusions will vary by insurance company, here are some of the more common exclusions: 

  • Well damage
  • Fuel tanks
  • Piping or wiring that isn’t already connected to your home
  • Septic systems: This are typically covered by a standard homeowner policy
  • Wiring or piping that runs through a body of water

How expensive is service line coverage?

Surprisingly, service line coverage is affordable, typically costing only $30 to $50 a year for $10,000 to $20,000 worth of coverage. This endorsement on your policy can be a financial lifesaver is you have a service line fail. Repairs can easily run between $1,000 and $10,000 depending on the type of line that is damage and the severity. If you are not carrying this coverage you could end up paying for these repairs yourself. 

Tags: , , , ,