When you have an issue with a leaking sewer drain to the main line at the street or from a city water supply line, the repairs can lead to a big landscaping mess. If you’ve purchased extra service line coverage, that will take care of the pipe repairs—but does it cover all the related expenses with the service line repair?
Specifically, does water and sewer insurance cover the use of either heavy equipment or manual labor to excavate and backfill the area above the line? Here’s what you need to know.
Why service line coverage is important
Did you know that the portion of the sewer line that’s under your property is yours to maintain and repair? The same goes for the water service line that provides clean water to your home. Buried several feet deep below ground, you’d think there isn’t much that can go wrong with these pipes.
Unfortunately, the ground swells and shrinks from moisture. The pipes deteriorate over time. Tree roots can infiltrate the pipes and clog them up. If anything happens, it needs to be dug up, repaired, and backfilled. And then, your lawn still needs to be restored. That comes at a hefty cost.
You may never want to use service line coverage, but if you have to, it’s great to know you’re protected against huge out-of-pocket expenses.
Are excavation costs covered?
For sewer and water line repairs that are covered by service line coverage on a homeowners policy, excavation is almost always the biggest expense incurred. And yes, excavation costs are covered as part of the policy.
Whether that involves a crew of construction workers using spades to dig a trench or a backhoe or tractor does it in one swoop of the bucket, the cost of excavating and backfilling are part of the policy.
Other expenses that service line coverage covers
For most insurers, restorative landscaping costs are also included in the policy. Most service line coverage policies also pay for temporary lodging if you can’t live at home while repairs are being done.
It’s important to know the limitations of your service line coverage. For example, Mercury Insurance covers up to $10,000 per incident for repairs to a service line. A home that has a large front yard could burn through that limit quickly, leaving a remainder for the homeowner to pay.
A separate deductible often applies for service line coverage as well. That can save you on increasing premiums from making a claim on your homeowners insurance, but it can also increase your portion of the bill if you need to claim both for service line coverage and damage inside your home, such as a flooded basement.