What Is Service Line Coverage and How Does It Work?

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Electrical wiring (Photo: @photovs via Twenty20)
When you think about a house, you probably picture a home with walls, windows, and rooms full of furniture, friends, and family. What you might forget about is the hidden works of structure, like the sewer pipes, water lines, communication cables, and power lines. Just as you would have to patch hole in a wall, you have to fix a hole in your pipes. However, repairing service lines can get expensive. This is when knowing about service line coverage can come in handy.

What are service lines?

Before explaining what service line coverage is, you need to understand what it is designed to protect. Service lines are underground utility lines providing a wide range of services to your home. Examples include:
  • Power lines
  • Sewer lines
  • Telephone lines
  • Septic lines
  • Cable and internet lines
  • Water pipes
  • Electrical wiring
  • Fuel or gas lines
  • Waste disposal
  • Private water well and pumps
  • Other areas as specified by the insurance policy

What is service line coverage?

Service line insurance covers repair costs due to damage to your utility lines, whether it is your property or the service line providers. Specific qualifying events include, but are not limited to:
  • Ground freeze
  • Rodent damage
  • Corrosion and deterioration
  • Collapse
  • Lightning
  • Tree roots
  • Landscape mishaps
  • Mechanical and pressure breakdown
  • Other perils and damages based upon insurance policy

What does service line coverage pay for?

There’s a lot involved in repairing an underground utility line. Imagine an unexpected freeze hits your area in early fall and your water pipes freeze. The result is a break in the pipes and a major leak. Not only do you have to hire a contractor to fix the damage, you may need a hotel room because your home is without water. You may also need your foundation inspected to make sure additional damage did not happen.
Service line insurance covers repairs, as well as lodging expenses. It also covers the municipality lines if the damage incurred was due to an event happening on your property. Eligible costs include:
  • Excavation
  • Contractor and repair costs
  • Material replacement
  • Landscape repairs
  • Living expenses
Some insurance companies will even provide additional reimbursement if you replace your damaged materials and systems with energy-efficient and eco-friendly equipment.

What is not covered by service line coverage?

Not all underground services are covered by service line coverage. However, this can vary by insurance company and the state your home is located in. Some repairs that might not be covered include:
  • Heating system
  • Fuel tanks
  • Septic systems
  • Cooling systems

Is service line coverage expensive?

Service line coverage is fairly inexpensive, costing as little as $30 per year. There’s usually a deductible, which is commonly $500 per claim. There are also payout limits as outlined by your policy. If damages exceed your coverage limits, you or your other insurance policies may have to cover the difference. At such an affordable price, it may make sense to add service line coverage to your homeowners insurance. Also, some insurance companies include it as a perk. With the average service line repair costing around $4,000, it is an inexpensive way to protect your assets and property.