Have you ever received an offer in the mail for utility line insurance?
Here’s an email we just got from a client and our response (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):
I just called to transfer the utilities, and [Utility Company] said something about Meter Line Protection for $22 a month. It was a long drawn out explanation and I could hardly understand him, but he said that I would get paperwork in the mail and I could cancel it within 30 days before it was active.
Do you know anything about that and would my home insurance cover the same thing?
Every insurance policy is different but the easiest way to think about it is as follows:
- Your home and the gas, water, & sewer pipes inside of it are protected by your homeowners insurance policy from “Covered Perils”. You have Special Coverage (the best kind) for both your home and the contents of your home so that’s good.
- All utility lines that are not on your property are the responsibility of [Utility Company].
- What the utility company is trying to sell you is insurance for the line in your yard that goes from the home to the street.
They are correct that if something happened to it your homeowners policy usually would not cover. But here’s the most important part, the reason the damage is not covered has everything to do with “wear & tear” or the growth of tree roots into the line. Normal maintenance of your home including pipe deterioration, rusting, or tree root problems aren’t covered on homeowners policies.
If [Utility Company] is offering to fix the pipe from “normal wear & tear” then it could have some value. But $22/month adds up to a lot very quickly. In my opinion, you’re better off “self-insuring” or saving the money and then if something does happen, just paying for it out of pocket.
Hope this helps,
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