09:32 AM

A broken pipe can break the bank, who is responsible for service line damage?

Key findings:  

  • 32% of homeowners think service line coverage is covered in their standard home policy—it’s not 
  • Average cost to fix a service line to your home ranges from $3,000 to $7,000i 
  • Only 8% of Nationwide home policies have added this coverage 

Your home has several service lines running into it that include power lines, sewer and water pipes, and contrary to popular belief, utility companies are not always responsible for damage to the service lines that run into your home. If these are damaged or break, the homeowner might be responsible for the repair. A standard homeowners policy does not cover the service lines running into the home—unless you’ve added service line coverage. 

The big picture: 32% of homeowners have the misconception that service line coverage is included in their base homeowners policy—findings from the latest Agency Forward survey from Nationwide shows this. 

28% say they have service line coverage, which is higher than the 8% of Nationwide homeowners policies that have added this coverage.  

Respondents reveal: Despite 76% of homeowners saying they have read and fully understand policy’s terms and conditions, 54% of homeowners are concerned that their policy may not cover certain types of damages or incidents, and 39% are admittedly confused about the different types of coverage offered by their policy. 

How to get service line coverage  

  • Only 50% of homeowners are aware that service line coverage can be purchased through homeowners insurance.  
  • It can be purchased through a utility company, but homeowners likely need to purchase coverage for each line, through each provider. 
  • Homeowners with service line coverage report: 53% purchased it through their homeowners insurance policy. 36% purchased it through a utility provider. 
  • 66% of homeowners also believe service line coverage can be added to a homeowners policy at any time when, in fact, it can only be added at renewal.  

“Service line coverage can often be overlooked but an incident will lead to a costly repair that falls on the homeowner,” Brad Lemons, Senior Vice President of Product and Underwriting for Nationwide’s personal lines insurance. “Service line coverage is one of the best value coverage endorsements, because unexpected damage to any of these lines will likely cost thousands of dollars to repair.” 

Learn more: Consider adding service line coverage [VIDEO] to a home policy. Your independent agent can let you know if your service lines are covered and help you determine the right coverage for you. 

i https://www.homeserve.com/en-us/blog/cost-guide/main-water-service-line-replacement/