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Homeowner Responsibilities for Utility Service Lines

May 3, 2019

You may have received letters from your local utilities (water and sewer authority or the power company) offering to protect the underground lines that deliver your utility service.  Many homeowners are surprised to learn that they are responsible for repairs to these lines.  These communications have generated questions from our clients and they have prompted many insurance companies to respond.  

Service Line Coverage

Until recently, homeowners’ policies excluded coverage for damaged utility lines.  As you can imagine, this could lead to a significant out-of-pocket expense.  Service Line Coverage has been introduced to prove an affordable solution to this problem.

What is Covered?

Most insurance companies cover the cost to repair damaged underground sewer lines, water lines, and electrical power lines.  This includes excavation costs and damage to outdoor property due to the necessary repairs made to the service line.  For instance, if you find out a tree root grew through a sewer line on our property, the repair cost and yard repair would be covered up to your purchased limit.

Does my insurance company offer this coverage?

While this is a newer coverage, many insurance carriers are now offering this coverage.  Please contact us if you would like to consider adding this coverage.  The coverage amount, deductibles and cost will vary for each insurance company.  

How do I add this important coverage?

You simply call us.

Should I get the coverage from the utility or my insurance company?

There are advantages to each option.  If you have a claim with the coverage offered by the utility, it will not have any negative impact on your relationship with your insurance carrier.  What we have found is that the relative cost of endorsing it to your homeowners policy is significantly less than the utility company’s option.  In addition, you can consider higher limits and the coverage will apply to all underground utilities.

We are grateful for your business. Please contact us at Dominion Risk Advisors to let us know how we can help, service@domrisk.com.