What's considered a service line?

There are a number of underground utility lines running into your home, including water pipes, power lines, cables, and even the main sewer line that runs from your home to the street. If any of these lines break or become damaged, you may be responsible for their repair.

How expensive is it to repair a service line break?

Depending on the type of service line break and how severe it is, repair work can be quite expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, for example, the average cost to repair a sewer main is $2,556, while a full sewer line replacement can run anywhere from $3,000 to as high as $25,000.

How does service line coverage work

If a covered service line breaks or leaks, service line coverage may cover the cost of repairing or replacing the line, excavation work, and any landscaping that gets damaged during the repair process. Your coverage limit per occurrence depends on your insurer and your policy. A homeowners insurance deductible often applies.

Which utility lines may be considered a service line?

Service line coverage may cover the following utility lines:

  • Water: Incoming water pipes, internal water pipes, sewer lines, drains, sprinkler pipes, and steam pipes
  • Gas and Fuel: Natural gas pipes, fuel lines
  • Electric: Buried power lines
  • Connectivity: Fiber optic lines, cable lines, internet lines

What kind of damage is covered under service line coverage?

Service line coverage may pay for damages resulting from:

  • Degradation: Rust, corrosion, deterioration and wear and tear
  • Damage: Freezing; trees and roots; insects and rodents; weight from cars, foot traffic or equipment
  • Breakdown: Mechanical or electrical malfunction

Depending on your policy, service line coverage may also cover excavation and landscaping costs as well as the repair and replacement of wiring and piping.

What kind of damage is not covered under service line coverage?

Service line coverage typically won't pay for damages resulting from:

  • Underground wires or pipes that are not connected and ready for use
  • Fuel tanks
  • Heating and cooling systems (pipes for geothermal systems may be covered by some policies)
  • Septic systems
  • Wiring or piping that runs through water

What if my insurer doesn't offer service line coverage?

If your insurance provider doesn't offer service line insurance coverage, you may be able to purchase a "service plan" or warranty from your local utility company. This "service plan" may cover the cost of repairs to your utility line, and the fee is often added to your monthly bill.