Why Home Insurance Should Include Service Line Coverage
As a homeowner, you want to protect your most significant investment. However, many homeowners need to be made aware of the limitations of their property insurance coverage. In particular, Service Line coverage, one of the most useful coverages you can add to your policy, is often overlooked.
Property insurance is designed to help protect you from the financial loss caused by damages to your home and personal property caused by a covered peril, such as fire or theft. Home insurance policies, for example, typically cover the structure of your home, your personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses. However, there are limitations to what is covered, and the exterior underground piping is often excluded from the basic standard insurance.
What is Service Line Coverage?
Service line coverage helps cover direct physical damage caused to the exterior underground piping that connects your home to utility or service lines. This includes communication lines, internet access, drainage, electrical power, waste disposal, water, and heating, such as natural gas lines. A service line failure means a leak, break, tear, rupture, collapse, etc. Service line coverage is designed to protect homeowners from the high costs of yard excavation and repair or replacement of these lines. Typically this coverage can be added to homeowners, seasonal, and rented dwelling policies.
The Importance of Service Line Coverage in Home Insurance
Damage to the exterior underground line is a common source of damage, especially for older homes. Exterior underground piping is often out of sight and out of mind but can cause significant damage if it breaks. Repairing or replacing these lines can be expensive, especially when considering your landscaping and driveway if you must dig them up. A standard property insurance policy does not cover damage to the exterior underground pipes, connections or valves that fall on your property line. By including service line coverage in your policy, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are protected against these risks.
Service Line Important Facts
Sorry to burst your sprinkler system pipe dreams, but Service Line coverage will not respond if a loss occurs. If you’ve got any wiring or piping lurking beneath a body of water, like a pool, that’s also a no-go. If your service line is blocked, sagging or has low pressure, it’s not considered a failure unless the piping or wiring is physically damaged. For example, a blockage in your service line is considered maintenance by your policy wording booklet, which your insurance is not designed to cover. Unfortunately, any damage caused by natural events like earthquakes, landslides, subsidence, or earth movement such as sinking, rising, or shifting won’t be covered. This coverage cannot be added to tenants’ policies, condos, buildings under construction or vacant dwellings. Review your wording booklet and discuss it with your advisor for a complete list of exclusions.
By including Service Line coverage in your policy, you can protect yourself against the high costs of repairing or replacing exterior underground piping. In addition, it is not overly expensive to add to your policy either. This fact is rather shocking as it is one of the most frequent claims we receive in Regina, Saskatchewan. If you are in an older home, have trees lining your property, or are looking to avoid the out pocket expenses of digging up your own yard, we strongly encourage you to inquire with your advisor about the cost of adding this coverage to your policy.
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