Sewer Line Warranty: Is it Worth the Money?

I get a water line insurance offer at a minimum of once a year.  They tend to come in the mail and look like an “official” notice from your local water company saying something like: “Important Information Regarding Your Water Service Line. Response Requested Within 30 Days.”

Many homeowners open the letter because the outside of the mailer is black and white, barcoded, and serious-looking. In the enclosed letter, you may find out that your “water service line could fail without warning,” resulting in financial ruin in these hard economic times because it could potentially “cost you thousands of dollars in unforeseen expenses.” For a low monthly price, your buried water line could be covered by water line insurance.

Here’s what you need to know; first of all, the letters are written to induce the fear factor of water line breaks.  Although this is something that could happen, it holds the same likely hood as if a tree were to fall on your house, an airplane crashing into your house or water heater flood your basement.

What does sewer line insurance cover?

Sewer line insurance covers the pipe from where it leaves your foundation to where it ties into the main line.

The offer is that should the exterior water service line to your property fail, this type of insurance company will pay your claims to repair the line, from the foundation’s edge to the property line (or to the well, should you have private water service). A water service line is only the pipe that brings fresh water into the house and does not include pipes that carry away wastewater.

Admittedly, this could be a very costly expense.

Will homeowner’s insurance cover a water line break?

While insurance companies’ coverage may differ, most policies are all about covering your home, its physical structure, and adjacent properties like garages and sheds.

In addition, most homeowner’s policies do not offer coverage enhancements or endorsements available to add this coverage. The bottom line is once the line branches off from the city main, it is your responsibility to fix if/when something happens.

If you do not purchase the sewer line insurance you could file the expense if you were ever to need to repair the line under the heading “The cost of home ownership”.

But look at this way. Let’s say your homeowner’s policy didn’t automatically have coverage for an airplane crashing into your house. Would you pay more to add that coverage? And do it year after year after year?

The bottom line is that there is always a potential for this type of thing happening, however rare. That’s the world of insurance. Pay a little now to avoid paying a lot later.

Like any insurance, it’s a personal call on what you’re willing to risk.  My best advice is to look closely at what is being covered, what isn’t and then weigh that against your annual cost. It won’t be overly expensive. Personally, though, I think you’re better off maxing out liability limits on your home and auto policies or purchasing an umbrella policy.

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