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Question DetailsAsked on 9/14/2015

Is homeowner liable to repair and pay for a drain pipe the gas company cut when putting in a gasline?

The gas company said they won't pay for the drain line repair because they didn't know it was there. Homeowners insurance won't pay because it caused no damage inside the home. They told me to contact the gas company's insurance company, but I have had no luck with the gas company to pay for the repair, or report the incident.

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1 Answer


Depends on the fine print in their contract - utilities commonly put in a phrasing that the owner is responsible for proper location and marking of all buried utilities and features that do not belong to the utility doing the work - in that instance, your case is pretty weak.

If they did not have such a disclaimer, gray area - if it was metal or provided with a tracer wire (metal wire along it that allows cable locator to find it) AND had an above ground expression (cleanout, riser, etc) that they could see, then they might be liable. If an untraced or not visible one, that would be a concealed item and generally not their responsibility to fix - or if they fix it could charge you for the cost.

Homeowner's insurance SHOULD pay for it (or pay and then try to collect from the utility if they did not have the disclaimer) - generally does not matter if in home or not because policy (assuming homeowner's rather than condo/renters) covers your property, not just the house. However, I would expect your deductible probably would mostly or totally cover the repair cost because gas lines are run pretty shallow, so probably just cheaper to DIY the fix (if not a sewer line) or pay to have it done.

If you think they should be responsible because the drain line was evident and traceable, your next step would be to talk to a supervisor at the gas company - generally if not hard-nosed like ConEd or SoCalEd they are pretty responsive to squeeky wheels on things like this.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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