If your basement floods due to a broken utility pipe in your front yard, chances are, your homeowner’s insurance covers much of the damage. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the cost of digging up and replacing the broken pipe — easily $3,000-$5,000 — is probably not covered by your policy and the utility companies are also not liable.
Underground service and utility lines on your property are your responsibility.
No doubt you’d feel blindsided if you had that bill slapped in your hand when you thought you had excellent homeowner’s insurance.
Underground from the house to the street is an area where a family’s insurance coverage is often sadly lacking. Something as simple as a tree root can do massive damage to gas, water, and sewage lines and the utility companies don’t take any responsibility between the house and the street and neither do most homeowner’s policies.
The best way to protect yourself is to purchase Home Service Line Coverage. At Compass we have multiple carriers such as IMT, National General, and Auto Owners that offer this type of coverage.
These policies cover physical damage to water, sewer, electrical, and communication/data-transfer wiring. The damage might be caused by the aforementioned tree root or by various other factors such as freezing or normal deterioration.
They not only cover the cost of repair but most policies also include Loss of Use coverage. This means that you would be compensated for hotel stays and other living expenses if you need to vacate your home during the repairs.It might also cover the cost of a generator or other equipment that might be needed for you to safely stay in your home.
While utility companies may offer some insurance products, the coverage limits are often much lower and less comprehensive.
Ask your insurance agent to take a look at your policies so that no matter what breaks underground, you’ll be covered.