What Are Service Lines to My Home and Am I Responsible for Them?

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Mercury Insurance helps protect your bank account from expensive repair or replacement costs for damaged utility lines or pipes on your property

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Service lines are a network of exterior, underground utility lines or pipes that supply a home with electricity, gas, water and sewer functions. These lines connect from the house to a city’s main supply for these services. For example, installed under the street, a water main is a pipe that delivers the water supply to a home via a water service line.

The American Society of Civil Engineers reports an estimated 240,000 water main breaks occur each year. This is in part due to aging pipe infrastructure throughout the U.S., and partially because of the frigid winter temperatures that affect the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast. Of course, the city is responsible for the main lines, but what about the service lines, which could be susceptible to the same conditions?

If a break happens on the service line to a homeowner’s property, they – not the city – are responsible for the repair or replacement costs. These types of damages can be very expensive, inconvenient and aren’t covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Special machinery may be needed to excavate pipes from beneath the ground, which may require your home, garden or driveway to be dug up, depending on the location of the damaged pipes. If you’re like many Americans, it’s likely that you don’t have enough money set aside to pay for this type of repair or replacement out of pocket.

Insurance companies like Mercury Insurance offer their customers an enhancement to their standard homeowners policy, Service Line Protection, to help pay for unforeseen service line failures.

The good news is these enhancements are very affordable – for just a few dollars a month, Service Line Protection offers coverage for exterior and underground service lines, including:

  •     Water piping, also known as a sewer lateral, which connects from the house or other structure on the property to a public water supply or private well.
  •     Sewer piping that connects from the house or other structure to a public sewer or private septic system.
  •     Ground loop piping that connects to a heat pump.
  •     Piping providing heating including geothermal, natural gas, propane and steam.
  •     Piping supplying compressed air.
  •     Power lines that provide electrical service to the dwelling or other structure.

Visit https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/insurance-products/service-line-protection.html to learn more about Service Line Protection.

Note: This article was originally published on http://blog.mercuryinsurance.com.

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Wendi Sheridan
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