Unnecessary insurance?
May 2, 2006 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Do I need water/sewer line insurance?

My water company is trying to sell me insurance to cover the portions of the sewer and water lines that are the homeowner's responsiblity. It is $12/month. My initial inclination was to pass, but I don't really want to get stuck with thousands of dollars of repair bills either.
posted by quirked to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
I've never heard of insuring your feed lines. Do you expect your sewer and water lines to fail during the time you live in your home? It's only a good deal if you do, for example if you have an older house or a tree growing near one of the lines. Otherwise it sounds like an extra income-generating move by the water company, taking advantage of nervous homeowners.

If my water company had offered this, I would pass.
posted by majick at 6:54 AM on May 2, 2006

Hmm... I have a very old house and I will tell you that a few years ago I had a leak in mine that was my responsibility. I had to dig up my yard to the street and it it cost several thousand dollars.

Personally I have never heard anyone else that as had that done.

I would maybe consider how old your house is??
posted by beccaj at 6:57 AM on May 2, 2006

Best answer: You should carry water/sewer backup insurance on your homeowners policy. I'd suggest finding and reading over that, then reading the water company's info, then calling the homeowners people for advice to make sure you are covered. You definitely need some kind of insurance in this area, but I've never heard of it handled through a water company, it sounds funny to me. Consult your insurance professional.
posted by rainbaby at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2006

Response by poster: I don't have any trees near the lines, but my house is 50 years old.
posted by quirked at 7:06 AM on May 2, 2006

She just had sewer problems a week or two ago. It was expensive.
posted by bilabial at 7:17 AM on May 2, 2006

It killed the link. sorry, dooce
posted by bilabial at 7:18 AM on May 2, 2006

Depends on how old your house is. Ours is 100+ years old, and I wish we'd had the option of getting that kind of insurance. It cost us over $3,500 about five years ago to get 20 feet of original supply and sewer lines replaced, and another $2K this Spring to fix the crappy work the first contractor did.

Slightly off-topic, I would not make a claim on your homeowner's insurance, even if it offers coverage for this.

Even before their huge losses from last fall, insurers were declining to renew policyholders who'd made any sort of claim on their policies, or even inquired about possibly making a claim. These days, consider homeowners insurance as catastrophe coverage, period
posted by mojohand at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2006

You shouldn't make small claims against your homeowners policy, but thousands of dollars, plus the headaches - that's what it's for. There is no claim at this point. He is interested in insuring against future damages and losses. A major sewer back up can make your house unlivable and unsellable, and nobody is going to be responsible for your losses except you, or your insurance company.

You could also consult your local government board and ask about this, if they regulate or provide the services.
posted by rainbaby at 7:40 AM on May 2, 2006

rainbaby: This isn't 'water/sewer back up in the home' which is covered by homeowner's I've filed a claim under my homeowner's policy for said damage. This covers the portion of the lines from the street lateral to your home. My water company - Aqua PA - has been sending me this offer for years. I say pass.
posted by fixedgear at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2006

If you have galvanized water service, it might be a good idea. They have a tendency to collapse if your water is ever shut off.
posted by electroboy at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2006

So, if whatever causes damage to your home origniates in the lateral lines, homeowners covers your home, but not the cost of repairing the lines? I can see that. If that's the case, then the offer makes more sense. I think it's a little pricey, though. If you go 10 1/2 years without an incident, which is more likely than not, you'd be out $1,500 assuming no increase in premium. I still say call your insurance people, if they were smart, they'd quote you the same coverage as an extention to your policy for a cheaper rate.
posted by rainbaby at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2006

If there is a high likelihood of you needing to make a claim for that type of insurance, they probably would not be offering it to you in the first place.

The water company (or the assurance company that's backing the policies) has statistics to calculate the chances of claims being paid out on that policy. You don't have those statistics - only a gut feeling about your house and your own fears about a several-thousand-dollar repair bill.

My suggestion would be to pass. The chances of you needing to make a claim are probably very small.
posted by gwenzel at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2006

Unless you know there are problems with the sewer line - tree roots growing into it being the most common one by far - I would pass.
posted by jellicle at 8:22 AM on May 2, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who offered advice!
posted by quirked at 9:21 AM on May 2, 2006

Had a teacher who got a $12,000 repair bill because of tree roots. Not cheap.
posted by salvia at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2006

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