I have seen first hand the costs of digging up sewer and water lines from the house to the main supply. Every homeowner is responsible for this section of line whether it be sewer or water. Old clay lines crack, tree roots find water and are happy to invade your water lines. It is more common than you think.

Protect yourself with a small insurance policy each year. I have a rental built in the early 1900's near St. Vincent's. You can best believe I am covered. Some of these lines run 12 feet below the earth and some run under sidewalks or driveways. The bill is a bad day...a big ouch! Who wants to spend $10,000 on a sewer line?!

Please note, like home warranties, these warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions. So, if you just purchased a house and you notice the water pressure drop when two or more of you shower, wait 30 days to call, otherwise, it will be deemed pre-existing and there will be no coverage.

Like most homeowners, you probably do not spend your time thinking about the pipes between your house and your sewer and water connection. But when they happen to you, they can be a huge headache. It could start as a faint odor, slow drains, or clogged toilet. These issues may mean costly repairs are not often covered by home insurance and home warranties.

However, there are insurance programs available from many sewer and water utilities. If you are connected through the Birmingham Water Works, there is the HomeServe program. HomeServe is an independent company that provides protection and repairs for water service lines.

Annual coverage costs of one of these plans are on average $171 and will provide you with $10,000 worth of protection for your exterior water line and $20,000 worth of protection for your sewer line.

If you are planning on selling your home, you may want to sign up for a program like this to avoid any extra headaches in the selling process. But be aware, you cannot make a claim during the initial 30-day waiting period.

Below is a breakdown of the cost associated with the different coverages:

  • $5.99 water service line $71.88 ($10,000 annual benefit) Basic site restoration
  • $8.99 sewer service line $107.88 ($10,000 annual benefit)
  • Interior plumbing and drainage $16.99 (cap 2 calls per year $2500 claim limit per call- $5,000 cap)
  • Water heater repair and replacement $10.99 per month (cap $1,000 annually)- includes replacement
  • Cooling system $10.99 per month (cap $1,000)
  • Exterior Electrical $5.99 per month ($5,000 worth of annual) wear and tear
  • Interior Electrical $10.99 per month ($2,500) wear and tear--outlets, switches, fuse box and breaker panel

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