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Is service line coverage worth it?

This affordable home insurance add-on can save you thousands of dollars in clean-up costs from ruptured pipes.

Coming home to ruptured pipes and water or waste in your yard is not a pleasant experience, especially when you find out the high repair costs. Broken service lines can cost thousands of dollars to fix, not to mention the cost to restore your landscape. Adding service line coverage to your home insurance policy can provide coverage for this scenario.

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What is service line coverage?

Service line coverage provides insurance coverage for broken or ruptured service or utility lines that are on your property and run into your home. It’s an optional add-on or endorsement that you can add to your home insurance policy.

The list of utility and service lines that could be affected include:

    • Power lines and electrical wiring
    • Water lines
    • Drainage and sewage lines
    • Natural gas lines
    • Telephone and cable lines
    • Private wells and septic system, depending on the insurer

Does home insurance cover service lines?

Not without an add-on for service line coverage. Pipes and utility lines that are located on your property are your responsibility if they leak or rupture. These lines and pipes are covered under your home insurance policy once they are inside your house, but your standard policy doesn’t cover them if they are on your property but outside your home.

If the pipes break or leak, your utility service your house will be interrupted, meaning you could be without water, electricity or gas until it’s fixed. What’s worse, you could be left with a big mess in your yard, as water or sewage could spill onto your lawn.

To fix these problems, you would need to hire contractors to dig up your lawn and fix the pipes, which could leave you with thousands of dollars in bills.

How does service line coverage work?

Adding this endorsement to your home insurance policy gives you coverage on your service and utility lines for:

  • Electrical current
  • Freezing
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Rodents
  • Tree root or other plant invasion
  • Wear, tear and rust
  • Weight of vehicles or heavy equipment

Most service line coverage includes the cost to repair the service line, excavation costs, landscaping expenses and loss of use, which provides money to maintain your standard of living if you have to live somewhere else temporarily.

The standard coverage amount is $10,000, though some home insurance companies will offer a higher amount of $20,000 or $25,000 in coverage. This coverage typically comes with a separate deductible of $500, though this could vary.
Is service line coverage worth it?
Service line coverage can be worth it to provide peace of mind. It’s a relatively inexpensive add-on, costing anywhere from $20 to $100 a year.

Considering that service line claims can cost at least $3,000 to fix, with some costing much more, paying $100 a year for $10,000 or $20,000 in coverage is a good value. But service line breaks are rare, which is partly why it’s an inexpensive insurance add-on. Companies rarely pay these claims, so they don’t charge much for the coverage.

What’s not covered by service line coverage?

Service line coverage picks up an important gap in your home insurance coverage, but its narrow in what it actually covers. Each insurance company has slightly different exclusions and coverages, so it’s important to find out for sure what your policy covers you for. For example, some companies’ service line endorsement will cover damage to septic tanks, while others won’t.

Most service line endorsements have the following exclusions, which means they won’t cover damage or expenses in the following situations:

  • Damage to sprinkler systems or lines going to outdoor pools
  • Damage to a service line that’s being installed or repaired
  • Pollutant cleanup
  • Septic tanks
  • Sudden and accidental events, such as fire, explosions or lightning

Bottom line

Service line coverage is a relatively attainable insurance add-on to your home insurance policy that will provide coverage for damage and repairs of utility and service pipes and lines. It can provide good value as an add-on to your home insurance compared to high claims costs. But the small chance of a pipe rupturing on your property makes this coverage one of the first ones to remove if you’re trying to save money.

Compare home insurance policies and coverage types to build the best policy for you.

Common questions about service line coverage

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