What is service line coverage?

Utility and service lines that run underneath your property typically aren’t covered by standard homeowners insurance. You can add service line coverage to your policy for an additional fee to get this type of protection.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

&Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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While homeowners insurance provides some amount of coverage for water damage caused by household plumbing and systems, it typically does not cover damage to service lines running underneath your property. 

That means if one of your home’s service lines are damaged — be it cable lines or water piping or power lines — you’d be stuck footing the bill yourself for repairs if you only have a standard homeowners insurance policy.

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Luckily, some insurance companies offer a service line coverage add-on, or endorsement, that you can add onto your homeowners policy for a small additional cost to protect different utility lines that connect to your home. 

Key Takeaways

  • As the homeowner, you’re financially responsible for any utility lines that run through your property.

  • Service line coverage is a homeowners insurance endorsement that reimburses you in the event that a utility line is damaged.

  • Service line coverage is one of the best value coverage endorsements, costing as little as $30 annually for $10,000 in coverage.

What is service line coverage?

As the homeowner, you’re on the hook financially for subterranean lines or pipes running through your property. That means if your water pipes crack or your power line is severed, it’s your responsibility to fix it. Standard homeowners insurance typically won’t cover broken utility lines — but you can add a service line coverage endorsement to your policy for this type of protection. 

Service line coverage will generally cover the costs of repairing or replacing utility lines, as well as the excavation and landscape restoration after necessary repairs are complete. When you file a claim, you may have to pay a deductible, but it’ll depend on the insurance company — Travelers, for example, doesn’t require a deductible for a service line claim. 

What does service line coverage cover?

Here are some examples of damage that’s typically covered by service line coverage:

  • Wear and tear

  • Rust, corrosion, decay, and deterioration

  • Mechanical breakdown

  • Electrical breakdown

  • Tree or root-caused damage

  • Vermin, insects, or rodent damage

  • Freezing

  • Weight of equipment, vehicles, animals or people

  • Collapse

Keep in mind that service line coverage endorsement isn’t the same across the board and will vary by your state and insurance company.

What types of service lines are covered?

Some service or utility lines typically covered by service line coverage include:

  • Water pipes

  • Steam pipes

  • Sewer pipes

  • Drain pipes

  • Power lines

  • Fiber optics

  • Cable lines

  • Internet lines

  • Natural gas pipes

  • Sprinkler pipes

What doesn’t service line coverage cover?

Here are some examples of what isn’t covered by service line coverage:

  • Water well related damage

  • Fuel tanks

  • Piping or wiring that isn’t connected and ready for use

  • Septic systems (a septic tank and the pipes that attach it to your home is usually automatically covered by a standard homeowners policy)

  • Wiring or piping that runs through a body of water

How much does service line coverage cost?

Service line coverage typically costs around $30 to $40 per year — only $2.50 to $3.33 per month — for between $10,000 to $20,000 in coverage on top of your homeowners policy. Considering that service line ruptures can cost around $2,500 on average, this endorsement is usually worth it. 

The exact cost depends on the specific insurance company, so be sure to check with your insurance company to see if they offer service line coverage, or reach out to an insurance expert at Policygenius who can help you reshop and find a company that offers this invaluable coverage endorsement.

Frequently asked questions

Is service line coverage required?

No, you’re not required to add service line coverage to your homeowners policy. But doing so may save you from having to foot the bill if a service or utility line is damaged on your property.

What insurance companies offer service line coverage?

Some insurance companies that offer service line coverage include: Travelers, Erie, and Mercury.