Abby Williams AW Insurance Agent
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Are You Covered If Your Sewer Line Breaks?

Have you seen the commercials for JULIE- the call before you dig commercials? They want you to call because there are pipes, wires and cables buried between the road and your home. Did you know most Insurance companies don’t provide coverage if one of those pipes, wires or cables are broken?

 

Alex Williams
AGENCY OWNER

 

 

The Claim

We see this claim a lot in the insurance industry. It can be one of the most expensive and frustrating experiences for homeowners. What causes breakage? Normally a tree root, construction or old age causes pipes to wear out and break. This is bad becuase it can cause water damage in your home and will eventually do serious damage to your home’s foundation.

The Cost

As you can imagine, this is an expensive project. First, the contractor has to excavate the surrounding area to find the damage and asses the problem. Second, they need to bring in the correct pipe and possibly adjust the slope of the land. Thirdly, the contractor will have to put your yard back together. The price for this claim can easily be $15,000 or more and without the coverage listed below it will come out of your pocket.

The Coverage

The coverage form with Erie insurance is ES00031 (Mercury Insurance has a similar form) – It is for full replacement of broken or damaged service lines from the following perils (this is based on the Erie Insurance form – each carrier’s coverage will be different). The coverage will also extend to the recovery of your yard. This coverage must be added to a policy similar to water back-up or earthquake coverage.

Covered Perils (what the form covers)

  • – Wear and Tear
  • – Rust
  • – Mechanical breakdown
  • – Weight of Vehicles
  • – Vermin or Insects
  • – Freezing
  • – External force by a shovel or backhoe or other excavation
  • – Tree Roots

The Exceptions

No coverage comes without holes and exceptions. Please contact us if you would like to see a few example forms. Below we have listed several of the common exceptions.

Whats not covered

  • Earth Movement
  • – Any pipe that runs underneath a body of water.
  • – If the broken pipe is under the house and not the yard
  • – If the piping is not connected or ready to use (in the course of construction)

Winners and Losers

This is a big win for customers in older neighborhoods or those of us who have large developed trees (root problems) near a service line. Erie Insurance and Mercury Insurance provide this coverage and should see more customers from it. Some of our other carriers like Travelers don’t offer this coverage yet and will need to figure it out. The big losers are customers who need this coverage and don’t know about it. Please help us spread the word.

 

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