Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

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Topic Author
coffeehubcap
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:56 pm

Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by coffeehubcap »

The water company is pushing this type of insurance to cover the water line coming into the house, the sewer line exiting the house and in-house plumbing. This insurance cost $200 plus a year. You don't have to get all three covered. I know it's expensive to replace the water line since 25 years ago our house settled and the line was cracked in the process and it created a leak. It was my responsibility to get it fixed to the tune of $5000. Today the cost would be $8000 or more and the insurance would pay up to $5000.

Has anyone bought into this insurance? Has anyone added a rider to their home insurance policy to cover this problem?
PS241
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by PS241 »

Don't you have an emergency fund? Self insure on things you can reasonably cover with an emergency fund.

25 years x 200+ per year.. looks like you got the $5000 back.
donall
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:45 am

Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by donall »

I think a lot has to do with the age of the house. With a house that is 25 years or less, it seems to not be needed. With an older home, things can go south very fast and unexpectedly and having a good emergency fund is the best insurance to have. Homeowner's insurance should cover interior damage caused by plumbing (excluding finished basements), not sure about the lines to house.
shawcroft
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Location: Connecticut

Water line insurance

Post by shawcroft »

Our home was built in 1976 and we bought just the exterior water line insurance when it was first available in our neighborhood- around 2002. The annual cost was $68 and we paid it every year thereafter. In January 2009, the water line started to leak under our front lawn.....they tore up the lawn with a backhoe and replaced the supply pipe into the house. The insurance covered all the repairs, leveling of the lawn, application of topsoil, and grass seeding once the Spring thaw occurred- but not shrub replacement and they did obliterate two shrubs in their efforts to find the leak
(I did have to remind the water company in mid-April to come on out to do the work but they said it was already scheduled). We were sent a "bill" for the service ( $4600) to let us know what the total cost would have been had we not had the insurance. Not sure I would believe that amount but certainly it would have been at least $2000..maybe mid-way between the two figures.
So, we were happy......but we have renewed the insurance each year....
And glad we did. The replacement line blew out in 2012!
Back they came, tore the whole place up again, blasted the new lawn they had put in, and this time put in a copper supply pipe which they said would not leak. ( I had replaced the shrubs with a flower garden- they were obliterated and no replacement coverage for that)
The "bill" this time was for $5100...
I'm keeping the insurance...for $68, it is fun to have the opportunity to watch folks tear your front yard to smithereens every 3 or so years....the second leak might reflect on the incompetence of the first repair team....or it just may be a random event.
Anyone else have a similar horror story?
Shawcroft
Topic Author
coffeehubcap
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:56 pm

Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by coffeehubcap »

Shawcroft,

Didn't you feel the need to purchase the sewer line, and in-house plumbing insurance?
shawcroft
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Location: Connecticut

Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by shawcroft »

coffeehubcap wrote:Didn't you feel the need to purchase the sewer line, and in-house plumbing insurance?
Coffee:
Thanks for asking. We have a septic tank so the sewer line insurance wasn't something we considered. We asked our plumber about the in-house insurance and he said the plumbing was well installed back in 1976 (when the house was built). So, we decided to "self-insure" that.
Among other valuable thoughts, our plumber said to always ensure you have access to key elements of the plumbing system when any renovations are designed.
Hope that helps...
Shawcroft
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stemikger
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Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by stemikger »

coffeehubcap wrote:The water company is pushing this type of insurance to cover the water line coming into the house, the sewer line exiting the house and in-house plumbing. This insurance cost $200 plus a year. You don't have to get all three covered. I know it's expensive to replace the water line since 25 years ago our house settled and the line was cracked in the process and it created a leak. It was my responsibility to get it fixed to the tune of $5000. Today the cost would be $8000 or more and the insurance would pay up to $5000.

Has anyone bought into this insurance? Has anyone added a rider to their home insurance policy to cover this problem?
I bought it and have paid for about 7 months and two weeks ago I had a problem. The guys they sent were horrible and rude and they told me only the line inside the house is covered. I told them that is not what I was told. I am in a townhome with 7 others attached, it is not a community, just 8 in total. When the guys they sent called the main office the boss said they don't want to be responsible for the other houses even though I explained that to the women who sold it to me when I bought it. I repeated my situation to her at that time and she told me that is exactly what they cover. They left and did nothing. I called the phone number that I had with the insurance plan and told them they basically lied to me. I believe it's a scam. I wish it wasn't but that is my experience with it.

I live in Staten Island New York.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!
HogsAndApples
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Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by HogsAndApples »

We can insure ourselves for everything these days. Sometimes it makes sense to, other times not.

For me, an emergency fund makes much more sense than paying insurance. Yes, occasionally there might be a rather large bill. By the way the two homes I have owned have been older than 25 years.

If it was my first home and I didn't have an emergency fund ... maybe I would insure?
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Kosmo
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Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by Kosmo »

stemikger wrote:I called the phone number that I had with the insurance plan and told them they basically lied to me. I believe it's a scam. I wish it wasn't but that is my experience with it.
What does the written policy say?

I would not get this insurance unless you have many sleepless nights worrying about water line damage. Is the water company pushing this insurance because they are the ones selling it?
pinecrest
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Post by pinecrest »

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Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by Mrs.Feeley »

Thank you for posting this question, Coffeehubcap. We recently got a mailing that supposedly came from our city water dept. pitching a sewer line warranty policy, and I was considering posting about it, asking what others thought.

The mailing came to us in a city water dept. envelope and with a letterhead on what looked like city water dept. stationary, signed by the chief city water engineer. A little research revealed that the company had paid our city a bucket of money to use its letterhead. And the city gets a kick-back on all the policies sold to residents. That appears to be a common arrangement.

At first glance "sewer line insurance," as it was pitched in the letter seemed like a good idea. We live in an older house on street with lots of trees. Over the past ten years I've seen several neighbors fork-out mind-numbing sums to excavate and replace lateral sewer lines that have been destroyed by tree roots.

However when I looked at the company's web site, and tried to get a sense of what work they would actually cover the program seemed a bit dubious. First of all they make clear that it's not an insurance policy by any definition of the term. If you have a sewer backup you call the company and they call one of their affiliated contractors to come out to your house within 48 hours to "assess the situation" and determine what repairs are necessary. If I have a sewer backup I want someone out immediately and I don't want to monkey around with some intermediate company that may or may not dispatch someone in the next few weeks to handle repairs.

The company didn't make any guarantees on their web site about what sort of sewer line repairs they would cover or how timely those repairs would be. Instead they specifically stated that all repairs were at the company's discretion and there were no guarantees. But they did state that they would cover repairs only up to the foundation of your house, and they would not restore any concrete such as sidewalk, streets or driveway that might need to be excavated. Concrete restoration can be a large part of the expense of repairing a broken sewer line. Their restoration of landscape is limited to tossing around grass seed. Since they will only repair the sewer line up to the entrance of your house, they will not handle any repairs in the basement or garage, or wherever your sewer stack is located.

Costs of any water damage and clean-up from the sewer backup would be the responsibility of your homeowner's insurance, assuming one has a policy rider for that.

I also searched the Better Business Bureau web sites in cities where this particular company has been offering similar sewer line warranty programs. I didn't like the complaints I read.

We're still a bit undecided. On the one hand, we do live on an older street with a history of sewer line problems, and $70/year to possibly save up to $10K on sewer line repairs seems like it might be worth a gamble. On the other hand the company offering this warranty service doesn't seem to have a noteworthy track record of customer satisfaction.
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stemikger
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Re: Water line, sewer line, in-house plumbing insurance

Post by stemikger »

Kosmo wrote:
stemikger wrote:I called the phone number that I had with the insurance plan and told them they basically lied to me. I believe it's a scam. I wish it wasn't but that is my experience with it.
What does the written policy say?

I would not get this insurance unless you have many sleepless nights worrying about water line damage. Is the water company pushing this insurance because they are the ones selling it?
Truthfully, I didn't even bother going back to the policy because the fact that they sent such an unprofessional company to cover any work needed made me not want to use their providers anyway. They are sending me a complete refund for the amount I already sent.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!
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