If you own a home, there is likely a pipeline which runs underground from the sidewalk in front of your house to your house. This is how water flows into your house. When I was a kid, I thought that water and electricity magically came out of the faucets and walls.
Most homeowner’s policies don’t provide coverage when this pipeline (service line) is broken and those that do offer coverage do so through an endorsement added to a homeowner’s policy. The trend on this is changing however as more homeowner’s insurance carriers are caving into the concerns of consumers and making Service Line coverage available.
I will be using information provided by Mercury Insurance when answering some frequently asked questions.
What exactly does Service Line cover?
Service Line coverage would cover the repair of a burst water line, replace the pipe if necessary, cover the cost of excavation, and cover the cost of any damaged outdoor property.
How much is an average claim for this type of loss?
The average claim payment for Service Line is $4,428 with digging up the yard being the greatest cost.
That’s a lot of money. How much does Service Line coverage cost?
Generally, the Service Line endorsement costs about $30 to $40 per year.
I live in an old house with really old plumbing. Does Service Line have an age restriction?
Mercury Insurance has no age restriction on Service Line. Other companies may vary.
Does this type of claim really happen?
You would be surprised how often this happens. Just last week, we had a client who had a city vehicle park partially on their front lawn breaking the joint where the pipe connected to the city hookup.
What if the pipe gets blocked up? Is this covered too?
If that’s all that happens, then no, there would be no coverage. But if the blockage causes the pipe to crack, this is considered physical damage and is therefore covered by Service Line.
Are above ground lines covered?
No, only underground piping and wiring outside of the house is covered by Service Line. This includes permanent connections, valves, or attached devices providing covered services to the home.
Does the insurance company make me use their guys to fix my yard?
No, you get to choose the contractor to conduct the repair or replacement of any service line which is damaged including putting your yard back in order.
What if the service line outside of my house is damaged by a mud or landslide? With all the rain we’ve been having, this seems like a real possibility.
You’re right. There are a lot more mud and landslides occurring because of the recent rains but unfortunately, earth movement is excluded by both your homeowner’s policy and Service Line endorsement. Earth movement would be covered under an earthquake policy.
Mercury Insurance offers Service Line coverage with its own $500 deductible and a Service Line claim does not result in a claim surcharge. Other companies may vary but if you have questions, be sure to give us a call at 760-893-8055.