Water Line Insurance - A Complete Guide
Unless you are living off the grid, odds are, you have a municipal or other governmental exterior water service line to your home or other property, which is owned by a utility company. Those lines bring fresh water to your property line. You own the water lines that connect from the utility line to your home.
Or you might own an external well that connects to water lines bringing water to your home and other structures on your property.
You are responsible for water lines you own and that are under your yard or property's lot, and it is crucial to have insurance coverage for them. You do not need exterior water or service line insurance coverage for the lines owned by the utility company because they are responsible for those lines.
Water lines do not include wastewater lines; separate pipes carry wastewater.
The water lines on your property sometimes suffer damages that require costly repairs and can disrupt your home life. Water line insurance can help cover the high costs of restoring your water lines. The average price is $324 - $1,355 and up to $3,000 to repair a water line. The benefit amount usually covers the reasonable cost of repairs or replacement minus any deductible that might apply.
What is Water Line Insurance?
Water line insurance covers damages or replacement of your water lines and other associated claim costs like landscaping repair from an excavation. Coverage includes waters lines under your yard, that you own, and that bring fresh water from the utility line to your home and other structures on your property.
You cannot buy insurance for that which you do not own, so it does not include lines owned by a municipality or third party.
If your home suffers damage, it could cost you several thousands of dollars in water line repair or replacement expenses and additional home restoration costs. The utility company will not pay those costs. So, it would help if you had the security that comes with water line insurance coverage.
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover services lines, and water lines are service lines. However, you can purchase additional water line insurance or a service line repair and replacement insurance as a rider. A service line rider covers all service lines, including water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, and other utility lines.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Line Breaks?
Homeowners insurance generally will not cover exterior water lines or the cost of a water line break outside your home. However, if the water line is part of your actual property, and you have a water or service line rider, then accidental breaks generally are covered through that endorsement.
What is a Water Line Homeowners Insurance Rider?
An insurance rider, or endorsement, is an additional piece of coverage that gives you financial protection against your home or other property, specifically for property not included in your home insurance policy.
An insurance rider on a homeowners insurance plan differs from a service line warranty plan you buy from a utility or other third parties. Among other limitations, warranty plans protect you from specific repairs but do not typically allow you to use your preferred contractors or plumbers.
What Does a Water Line Homeowners Endorsement Cover?
Water line insurance coverage will pay the costs of repairing or replacing your external water line that is part of your property and delivers fresh water to your home. Your insurance covers the lines you own connecting the utility company's water service line to your home and other structures on your property. The same goes for pipes from a well or cistern that you might have.
Your homeowners service line endorsement includes water lines. Service line riders also include sewer lines, gas lines, and all commonly known utility lines that provide a specific service to your home or property. Service line policies are ridiculously cheap, as low as $25/year. Since they include all your utility lines under one service line policy, we recommend that vs. a separate water line policy.
Policies vary, but your service or water line coverage typically includes inspections, excavation costs, repairs or replacement of pipes, valves, and other mechanics, leaking or burst pipes, landscaping, and loss of use (additional living expenses).
Water lines coverage protects against the following:
- pipes freezing
- vermin, insects, rodents, or other animals
- the weight of equipment, vehicles, animals, or people
- low pressure
- blocked lines
- tree or other root invasions
- rust or corrosion from normal wear and tear
- more depending on your policy
Water Line Insurance EXCLUSIONS
Water line insurance endorsements do not cover costs arising from intentional damage or any negligence that causes rust or corrosion or worse. That means if you allow your water or sewer lines to degrade to the point that they fail, water line insurance likely will not cover your costs.
Other exclusions include earthquakes, flooding, fire, lightning, explosions, aircraft, vehicles, vandalism, sinkholes, lines branching off your main water service line like pool, sprinkler, water fountains, and other amenities, and more.
Condominiums and HOA communities usually cover your utility lines. Therefore, water line endorsements do not include properties within an HOA community. Your homeowners water line add-on also excludes utility lines that are owned by municipalities or other third parties.
How Much is a Water Line Insurance Rider?
A water line insurance rider is generally very affordable, and you can buy a service line insurance for as low as $25 - $60/year as an add-on to your homeowners insurance plan. This way, you will get all your service lines covered. The deductible typically is $500 per incident, and many insurers offer zero-dollar service plan deductibles. Coverage limits are typically $6,000 - $10,000 per incident.
Is Water Line Protection Insurance Worth It?
Few home repair bills run higher than those caused by water intrusion. It is very costly from direct structural damage to the ongoing battle with mold and mildew to landscaping repair. The national average is $837, with a high end of $3,000. Having exterior water line coverage is affordable and gives homeowners peace of mind.
Example of ROI
The potential ROI is excellent when the price to cover repairs or replacement costs thousands of dollars versus only a few bucks to pay for additional insurance protection. It is a very affordable way to enjoy peace of mind.
For example, if your water line repair costs $3,000, and for five years you paid $50/year, your insurance cost $250. That is a savings of $2,750 less your deductible. Now throw on your cost to restore your landscaping, you can easily see the value of water line coverage.
What to Do If Your Water Line Claim Gets Denied
When water line failures occur, an insurance company might deny your claim due to external flooding or other determinations.
If that happens, first examine your policy. It may include loopholes like term length and wait-times, e.g., your 12-month policy requires a 1-month wait period. A policy could state it covers $10,000 per year and only $5,000 per incident. If you thought your protection included $10,000 per incident, which is common, you are out of luck.
If your policy contradicts your denial, hire a local licensed private insurance adjuster or a service line contractor to provide a second opinion; include their quote, evidence of their opinion, and their dispute of your insurer's decision. If that does not work, you can appeal the decision to your state insurance agency and get a third-party ruling. You can also seek either arbitration or mediation to settle the dispute.
To learn how to file a successful claim, check out these articles:
How do You Get a Quote for Water Line Insurance?
We provide water line insurance riders with homeowners insurance policies from 40+ insurance companies. We are happy to help find the best one for you!
Water Line Insurance FAQs
Do I Need Water Line Insurance?
Yes. An affordable insurance rider is a great way to keep your wallet safe against the perils caused by water line breaks.
Why and How Does Water Line Damage Occur?
Lines that provide water services are subject to a wide range of perils. They include digging, tree roots, earth movement, and other external factors that can add up to costly home repair bills.
How Do I Know if My Current Homeowners Insurance Covers Water Lines?
Water line insurance coverages will be outlined directly in your homeowners insurance policy. Check your declarations page for details.
At your service,