Do You Need A Service Line Protection Plan?
A service line protection plan may have been advertised to you as a homeowner. However, you may not understand the purpose of such a protection plan.
Often, homeowners are unaware of their responsibilities until an issue arises with their pipes or lines. As the property owner, you are responsible for any connecting lines from your home to the street.
Imagine that your incoming water line springs a leak. The leak may be slow, hard to notice, or more apparent when a prominent wet spot is discovered in your yard. Either way, you are responsible for repairing, not the water company.
The total cost to replace the lines will depend on the distance from the street to the house, whether you need to dig a trench or whether using a trenchless process is possible. Estimates vary from $2,000 to $10,000. Costs are calculated by the linear foot. Therefore, costs will depend on how far back your home sits from the street.
Homeowner’s insurance companies do not typically include service line protection as standard coverage. However, your provider may be able to add a rider to your homeowner’s policy that will consist of service line protection coverage. You need to review your coverage with your insurance agent to be confident you have this coverage.
It is also possible to get coverage from many utility companies. As opposed to insurance policies, these work more like home warranty policies.
Service lines can become damaged by many different means. For example, damage to underground lines can occur due to shifting ground caused by earthquakes or nearby construction, tree roots, or corrosion.
Some common causes of damage come from:
- Landscaping accidents
- Digging into the property
- Wear and tear
- Electrical or mechanical breakdowns
Service line protection plans each have their distinct coverage policies. Be sure to read and compare programs before deciding which one to purchase.
Some items that may be covered include:
- Repair of line
- Line excavation
- Loss of use if you must vacate
- Outdoor property repairs
- Replacement Costs
Again, it is imperative to read the service line protection plan you are considering to understand the coverage available to you. Do not assume all plans are alike.
Some common items not covered under a service line protection plan include:
- Water well damage
- Septic systems
- HVAC systems
- Fuel tanks
- Sump pumps
- Lines that run under but are not connected to the home.
If you purchase through your insurance company, it will increase your homeowner’s insurance bill. In addition, it would be added to your utility bill if you purchase through a utility company. The monthly charge varies.
Deciding to purchase a service line protection plan is a personal choice. For example, you may not want to purchase the plan if you can maintain a substantial emergency fund. On the other hand, if you cannot save for emergencies, the small monthly charge may make sense for you.
A good practice is to review your homeowner’s policy regularly with your insurance agent. Then, discuss the need for a service line protection plan with them to see if you need one.
The SAYHAY Team can help you buy or sell a home. Our experienced team is ready to help you. Contact us at 412-755-3600 to schedule your free consultation.