service line coverage

Why You Should Include Service Line Coverage in Home Insurance

While standard homeowners insurance policies typically cover the physical structure of your house, personal belongings, and liability, there is often a crucial element that is overlooked – service line coverage. This specialized protection can be the difference between a manageable expense and a financial headache when unexpected underground infrastructure issues arise.


Understanding Service Line Coverage: An Overview

Service line coverage is a valuable addition to your homeowner’s insurance policy that provides financial protection against damage to the underground utility and service lines connecting your property to public or private networks. This includes coverage for the repair or replacement of pipes, cables, and conduits that supply essential services like electricity, water, sewer, internet, and more.


What is Considered a Service Line?

Service lines encompass a wide range of underground infrastructure, including:

  • Electrical, telephone, and cable internet lines
  • Public water supply systems or private wells, cisterns, and retention ponds
  • Underground steam piping connected to an outdoor heating system
  • Ground loop piping linked to a heat pump
  • Underground sewer and drainage piping


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What Does Service Line Coverage Protect Against?

Service line coverage is designed to cover the costs associated with the accidental breakage, leakage, tearing, rupture, or collapse of these underground service lines. This can include expenses for:

  • Excavation to expose the damaged lines
  • Repair or replacement of the affected service lines
  • Restoration of landscaping, driveways, or other property elements disrupted during the repair process
  • Temporary living expenses if the home becomes uninhabitable due to the damage

By having this coverage in place, homeowners can avoid the significant out-of-pocket costs that often accompany such unexpected underground infrastructure issues.


The Importance of Service Line Coverage

Damage to service lines is a common occurrence, particularly in older homes or properties with extensive landscaping and underground utilities. Standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover these types of damages, leaving homeowners vulnerable to the financial burden of repairs.

The cost of repairing or replacing underground service lines can be staggering, often reaching thousands of dollars. Factors like the depth of the lines, the need for excavation, and the complexity of the repair work can all contribute to these high expenses.


Evaluating Service Line Coverage Options

When it comes to selecting service line coverage, homeowners have several options to consider. Policies may vary in terms of coverage limits, deductibles, and specific inclusions and exclusions.

Coverage Limits 

Some insurers offer service line coverage with limits ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 or more. Homeowners should carefully evaluate their property’s needs and the potential costs of service line repairs to determine an appropriate coverage limit.

Inclusions and Exclusions

While service line coverage is designed to provide comprehensive protection, there may be certain exclusions to be aware of. For example, damage caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes or landslides, may not be covered. Homeowners should review their policy’s wording to understand the full scope of the coverage and any potential limitations.

*This type of coverage is unavailable for tenants’ policies, condos, buildings under construction, or vacant dwellings. To fully understand the exclusions, please review your policy wording booklet and discuss it with your insurance advisor.


The Cost of Service Line Coverage

Compared to the potential costs of repairing or replacing damaged service lines, the cost of adding this coverage to a homeowners insurance policy is relatively modest. On average, the annual premium for service line coverage ranges from $40 to $100, depending on the insurer and the specific coverage limits selected.

Given the significant financial risks associated with service line issues, this relatively low cost makes service line coverage a valuable investment for homeowners.


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Real-Life Examples of Service Line Coverage in Action

To illustrate the practical application of service line coverage, consider the following scenario:

Tree Root Invasion

Invasive tree roots grew into an underground clay pipe sewer line, causing the pipe to break apart.

The coverage would pay for:

Service line coverage would have paid for the cost of excavation, replacement of the damaged clay pipe with a more durable PVC alternative, and the necessary landscaping repairs.


While standard homeowners insurance policies provide essential coverage, the inclusion of service line coverage can offer an additional layer of protection against the costly consequences of damage to underground utility and service lines.

By investing in this valuable coverage, homeowners can enjoy greater peace of mind, knowing that they are prepared to handle unexpected service line issues with minimal financial impact.

Remember, the cost of service line coverage is relatively modest compared to the potential costs of repairs, making it a prudent investment in the long-term protection of your home. Speak with your insurance advisor today to explore the options and ensure your homeowner’s insurance policy provides the comprehensive coverage you need.

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