• Caleb Meriwether

Replacing A Sewer Line Stinks

I live in an older neighborhood with big trees. One of my neighbors learned the hard way that big tree roots and old sewer lines combine to create a mess, a $22,000.00 mess. And it is as mess that most basic homeowner policies will not cover. You need a specific endorsement – usually termed underground utility coverage – in order to be protected. Not all companies offer it, but if you live in an older home, it is certainly worth a phone call to your agent.

The typical homeowner policy will insure the residence premises (the house), other structures (think shed), personal property, and also provide liability coverage in the event you are sued. Most insurance companies will also offer various additional coverage options and enhancements as a package deal. But even these packages rarely offer underground utility coverage. You need to specifically ask if your policy would cover damage to a water line or sewer line.

Underground utility coverage will vary from company to company. You’ll need to ask your agent about specific perils insured against. But it is fairly standard for the coverage to apply when the damage is caused by freezing, wear and tear, collapse, deterioration, and trees and shrubs and their roots. Be mindful that a general blockage of the sewer line would likely not be covered as there is no actual damage to the line itself. There is also often a limit of insurance – typically $25,000.00.

Call your agent and ask if you are covered in the event of damage to your sewer or water line.

LEGAL JARGON DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not legal advice. Even if you construe it that way, it’s probably only worth what you paid for it. I am an attorney but am not yours.

Whether you are a Haven client or not, I’m always available to discuss.