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Question DetailsAsked on 10/12/2012

Is sewer line insurance necessary?

I've received mailers advising me to buy insurance coverage on the sewer line between my house and the city's line. Apparently this isn't often covered by normal homeowners' policies. The policy this group ("Homeserve") offers is $9 per month, which seems pretty steep to me, but how often do these lines fail or need repair, and how much does that tend to cost?

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2 Answers


homeowners are not aware that they are responsible for the water and sewer
lines on their property. There was an article posted online yesterday about a Dover, NH resident
who was unaware that the sewer line to their home was their responsibility and
the cost for the repair is $10,000.
The US Census estimates that over 70% of single family
homes in the US are more than 20 years old and if
that’s like your home, it is very likely that
the water and sewer lines that run to it are just as old. Given all of this, it seems like some
sort of protection plan would be a wise decision.


Answered 5 years ago by homerehabgirl


With any home protection insurance like this (and auto extended warranties), realize you will be paying about double ormore the anticipated costs over the long haul - typcially notmore than half of premium goes to pay claims, 1/4 to advertising, 1/4 to processing and profit. In many cases claims coverage may be as low as 1/4 of the total premium, especially with companies who strongly contest claims to crankup the profit, like many do.

Like any insurance - can pay off very well if you have a major replacement needed in the near future - but over decades will NOT in most cases. Also, check fine print - usually a fairly low maximum claim amount per claim so commonly does not cover a replacement at all - just local repairs, and sometimes exclludes pipes over a certain age. And generally have to use their contractors so getting hold of them on weekends and nights and holidays, and getting rapid response, can be a bear. Had one neighbor with this added onto her homeowners warranty that came with the house purchase - when she called about a collapsed or cracked and blocked sewer pipe they were scheduling 3 months in the future for even EMERGENCY repairs because they only used one contractor in the area, so useless.

Commonly, in-house repairs for a single problem (as opposed to general corrosion failure of entire system over very long periods) run in the $200-400 range except up to 50-100% more if under concrete slab and has to be dug up. Outside repairs due to clogging generally up to about $2-400 range if cleanable with router, more like $300-2000 range if requires digging up one particular spot depending on depth of pipe and if under drive or sidewalk and such. Totall replacements of outdoor line commonly about 40-200 years depending on quality of install and pipe material used, and can run typically (excepting outlier cases) probably about $1000-4000 generally, up to $10,000 not unusual if has to be connected under the street in significant street where you will be paying plumber plus utility crew for parts otf the work plus traffic control and streets repair, or if tears up major landscaping - though this type of policy generally only covers the direct repair, not secondary damged needed to repair or replace it. Another thing to look at.

So, can be a major hit and some people want insurance against that big a risk, but most people take their chances and hope it will not happen, espeically if they are the type who move around every few years so do not plan on living in the house for decades.

If looking at buying, record of company on honoring claims is prime consideration, and Al has few reviews on this type of warranty company - most of these companies have bad reputations or may not be around more than a few years, and I believe I saw that home warranty comapnies generate the most bad reviews of any type provider.

Also check with your homewoners insurance comapny about possibility of adding a rider for them to cover this type of cost. Note this is different than sewer backup insurance, which covers damge in the house by backup through the sewwrs from outside.

My gut feeling - for $9 / month it probably has a pretty high deductible or low maximumm payment, or fine print that allows them to duck most of the majjor cases, or may excllude deteriortion from age or roots - which are the primary reasons for major replacement jobs in the first place. Buyer beware and carefully read ALL the paperworkk before signing - and most of these firms play the "sign up now and you have 10 days to cancel if your don't like the contract" game - don't fall for that.

A neighbor asked me to look at a used car after-market warranty on a used car being bought - classic case - th warranty fine print said would cover any car up to 200,000 miles and 20 years old - but fine print said car had to be covered by manufacturer's bumpbeto bumper original warranty for their warranty to cover - allowed them to charge a much lower price because everything covered was first under the manufacturer warranty so they would almsot never have to pay out ! There are scammers and crooks everywhere - and the insurance industry and especially after-market warranties market seems to attracdt more than its share of them.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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