Don't ignore this hidden risk: Understanding underground service lines

April 12, 2019 | SECURA Insurance

Close your eyes for a moment and picture this scenario. 

You have a gorgeous maple tree on your property. For years it's been the focal point of your yard with people often stopping to tell you how lucky you are to have such a beautiful tree on your property. Sure, you're lucky, until that one summer day when that maple tree decides to push a tree root into a water pipe running underneath your property. 

What do you do now?

Contrary to popular belief, the reality is that you as the homeowner are responsible for any underground service lines that run from the street to your home. So any sewer and water piping, as well as underground electrical and communication lines running from the street to your home, are all your responsibility to fix and pay for should a problem occur. 

How do service line damages happen?

Underground service lines can be damaged in a variety of ways, ways you'd never even think of. Some of the more common causes include tree roots, animal interference, corrosion, weight of vehicles pressing down on the lines, as well as simple wear and tear. No matter the cause of the damage, the effects can be incredibly costly.

Typical homeowners policies don't provide coverage for damage to underground services lines, which can mean big trouble for a homeowner should there be damages. Aside from repairing the actual line itself, you may need to dig up landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks to get to the damaged line. 

What can you do?

The first step is to contact your insurance agent to determine if they will cover underground service line failures. At SECURA, if you are a MILE-STONE® policyholder, you can add Underground Service Line Coverage to your Gold or Basic policies to ensure you are fully protected against the things that are, unfortunately, just out of your control. 

To learn more about our Underground Service Line Coverage, visit our website.