One of the most unpleasant things that can happen to a home is unexpected water damage. Both dirty sewer water and your clean drinking water supply can cause massive devastation in your home. But among the most expensive plumbing repairs is a service line that actually leaks water or sewage outside of your home, and underground to boot.
What if it isn’t a broken pipe after all, but a leaking joint or seal for the water or sewer line? Is that still covered by an endorsement for service line coverage? Here’s what you should know.
What is service line coverage?
The lines that run between utility services and your home are considered service lines. That includes septic system components, water supply lines, and electrical utility lines that connect your home to either the city’s services or your personal septic tank or field. Should one of the underground lines become damaged by accidental means, whether that’s a clog from tree roots, shifting terrain, or damage from digging, it costs a small fortune to repair it.
Service line coverage is a rider or endorsement that covers the unplanned expenses associated with the repair, up to the coverage limit. For most policies, typical coverage is $10,000 per event, much of which is due to excavation. But what happens if it isn’t the pipe itself that’s broken, but rather a seal or a joint instead?
Are seal and joint replacements included in service line coverage?
Although you need to confirm coverage with your individual policy or provider, a leaking seal or joint is usually included under the coverage for most plans. Whether there’s an elbow that needs to be changed or a seal connecting two sections of pipe has been penetrated by tree roots, service line coverage usually covers the cost.
In fact, a seal repair or replacement is almost the same cost as replacing a section of the service line itself. The only difference is in the materials used, and whether a stretch of the water or sewer line needs to be replaced to correct the problem.
What else is covered?
When you add service line coverage to your policy, it covers you for several added expenses, not just the service line repair.
- Alternate lodging is covered if you can’t stay at home while the repairs are in process. Naturally, if the water supply is shut off, the electrical is disconnected, or your sewer can’t be used, you’ll need to stay elsewhere.
- The cost of excavation and backfill is included. Accessing the broken or leaking seal or joint is the most expensive part of the repair.
- Since your lawn or driveway likely needs to be dug up to access the service line, repairing the damage to its previous state is also part of the coverage.
- Improvements might be included. Some policies will pay an extra 50% of the original repair cost to make repairs that are more efficient or safer.