It has been getting pretty common for water companies and other third parties to offer you insurance that covers your water and waste lines both in the ground and inside your home. The coverage should repair any damage you have but are the costs of the insurance worth having?
Repairing the water and waste lines between your home and the street hookups is your responsibility. It is work that you can often perform yourself but the actual connection to the street connections must be performed by a plumber that is certified by your water company.
Who Should You Buy Insurance From
If your home has coverage through your home owners policy this is probably your best bet. The next option is buying from your water company and finally is third party insurance that I personally would stay away from.
Water company insurance will be put on your monthly bill and is easy to pay and your home owner’s policy will be paid once a year or however you have your payments set up. The costs can be about $5 to $15 a month depending on what is covered.
Outside VS Inside Repairs To Your Water And Waste Line
Repairs to the feed and wast lines inside your home is something that most home owners can tackle themselves. It may not be a job that you want to do but the work normally can be done unless it requires cutting into a slab of concrete to run line.
Repairs to underground feed and waste lines is not something that most home owners try on their own unless they have a few teenage sons or a backhoe.
As stated above some work even outside can be done by the home owner but you never want to touch the municipal or company lines at the street connection. If you do you can open yourself to a lot of liability. As long as you are working in your yard you should be ok but the work is difficult and may require the renting of equipment. For that reason it normally is something you hire out to a contractor.
Water feed lines can sometimes be patched but often when they are at the age where they deteriorate you are better off replacing the whole line. Not doing so can result in sink holes or leaks that just cost you money. Normally patches are the result of you doing improper digging and hitting a line but they are normally pretty deep in the ground and should be covered with some gravel and a marker tape to let you know you’re about to hit something you don’t want to be hitting.
Copper lines in old homes will deteriorate from within. When this happens you can bet most of your home is in the same condition and will need replacing soon. What happens most often is pinholes come through the pipe from the inside. Other problems effecting all pipe materials is when sediment clogs the line. The material the pipe is made out of can increase the speed that this happens but eventually it normally will happen to the entire home. Hard Water is a main issue and filtering and treating your water where it comes into your home will reduce damage to your pipes, water heater and other appliances like your dish washer and clothes washer.
Cost of Repairs vs Insurance
Age of your home can be a reason to purchase this insurance however you must make sure that your insurance will cover total replacement costs including labor. Labor really is the primary cost of plumbing repairs and if you feel you are up to it then maybe you can do without the insurance especially if you plan on moving in a short period of time or under 10 years.
Just because someone offers you insurance doesn’t mean its in your best interest to purchase it.
Like life insurance for a young person who is not married. There is no reason to purchase a large amount of life insurance unless there is someone in your life that is dependent on you.
On the other hand if you are older and living in an older home it might be worth a small fee to cover your plumbing inside and out if you are sure that they will cover the complete cost even on your 50 year old pipes. If they tell you the life of your pipes is being taken into account and they won’t cover it then why get the insurance. It makes no sense if your 50 year old pipe breaks and they say they will only cover 5% of the cost because of its age.
Do your work and buy from a good company if you decide this coverage is from you. Hopefully its a company that you already have a relationship with like your water company but you should make sure that the insurance is covered by your water company and its not something that they totally disconnect themselves from. They might just be advertising for that insurance company and then the water company won’t make sure everything is right if you have problems.