We don’t often think about what is going on underground. Out of sight – out of mind. But there is a lot going on down there. As a homeowner you are responsible for maintaining the service lines from your home to your property line – and a standard homeowner’s policy does not include cover service line damage. This means you could find yourself responsible for potentially thousands of dollars in repairs.
What are Service Lines?
Underground service lines transport utilizes to and from your home including water, waste, internet, cable, and often electricity. A rupture, break, or collapse to these lines can disrupt your household and create costly repairs – often in the thousands of dollars.
What causes damage to service lines?
One of the main culprits when it comes to damage to underground service lines is tree roots which can pierce through the walls of the service lines – most commonly the water and sewer lines. However, damage can come from other vegetation, animals, the weight of vehicles in your driveway, and general wear and tear.
Why are repairs so expensive?
Service lines repairs can cost thousands of dollars. This is because repairs are not as simple as fixing the damaged line. To reach the damaged line your property must be excavated. This could include tearing out your driveway, walkways, landscaping and/or other structures such as sheds and greenhouses. If roots are a cause for the problem, the homeowner may also consider adding in root dams. Then once repairs have been made there is the expense of returning your property to its previous state – filling in the hole, rebuilding driveways, landscaping, etc.
What should homeowners do?
While you may not always be able to prevent damage to underground service lines, you can take steps to protect yourself financially by adding an Underground Service Line Coverage endorsement to your homeowner’s policy.
This endorsement can help pay for repairs and expenses related to repairs. It may also cover hotels, meals, and other expenses if you cannot stay in your home while repairs are being done.
My utility company sent me coverage options in the mail – how is this different?
Coverage being offered by utility companies is generally more narrow in scope, and usually only covers the utility they provide. This could mean you would need one for each underground service you receive. An underground service endorsement covers all underground service lines in a single policy.
To add an underground service lines coverage endorsement to your policy or to discuss your coverage options, contact one of our knowledgeable insurance agents today.