Water Line Insurance

Have you recently received a letter in the mail sent by a company called HomeServe?

The letter informs homeowners that they are responsible for maintaining and repairing the water service line connecting to their house. The Town of Hudson does not endorse this program. The service is optional and is not required by the Town of Hudson or by the local water utility company. The Town of Hudson contracts with Pennachuck Water Service Company and its Watertight Protection Program to offer a similar service to its water line customers which is also an optional program.

What is a water service line program?

Many companies including utilities offer water service line protection programs for a monthly fee which acts as a warranty to cover the costs of repairing underground water lines. These plans are voluntary and residents are not required to purchase them. These plans are not regulated by the Town of Hudson nor by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. The decision to purchase these warranties are an individual one and prior to enrolling, residents should do their homework - get all the information regarding the terms of the plan, including what is covered and what is not.

But isn’t the Town of Hudson or water department responsible for my water service line?

Property owners are responsible for the water lines that run from the exterior of their home to the municipal service line in the street.

If you are considering enrolling in a water service line protection program, you should consider the following:

Does your homeowner’s insurance cover exterior water lines?

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may already provide coverage of exterior water lines. Read your policy or contact your insurance agent to determine whether you are already covered. If your insurance already covers exterior water lines then a water service line protection program is unnecessary. Even if your homeowner’s insurance does not provide coverage for exterior water lines there may be a rider available with your insurance company for such coverage.

Is my property at risk?

If your home is older and if your neighbors have experienced problems with their water service lines then you are at greater risk. However, if you live in a newer home you may never need this coverage. Also, if your service line is made of copper you have a lower probability of the line breaking or leaking.

Do you know what is covered under the coverage?

Before buying any policy first read the fine print. For instance, many policies will not cover pre-existing conditions or “emergency breakdowns” due to a pre-existing condition. Determine how the company defines a “pre-existing condition” before your sign up. Also, determine whether your policy will cover “Acts of God” (earthquakes, floods, sinkholes and landslides), or thawing or frozen pipes since these are many of the common reasons underground water lines tend to fail. If your policy says it will pay to replace or repair the exterior water service lines, but excludes Acts of God, and normal wear and tear, what exactly IS covered?