Repair covered by homeowner's insurance?

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My parents have a house that was built in the late 1940s. The sewer pipe is the old ceramic type and it runs under the house. Part of it has collapsed and the plumber says he knows where. To get to it, he would have to go through the floor and jackhammer through the concrete slab. He thinks that their homeowner's insurance will cover it (after the deductable).
Does the insurance cover things like this?
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On Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:27:11 -0400, Judson McCranie

Generally not.
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On 4/3/14 7:27 PM, Judson McCranie wrote:

Not an answer to your question but it brings up something I've wondered about. Why don't plumbers use some sort of horizontal boring tool along with a liner to fix problems like this? Is it cost or some technical reason? Maybe the second guess leads to the first?
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That sounds promising. Can it be done if the ceramic pipe has already caved in in one area? Or maybe that one spot might have to be fixed as the plumber said, and this can be used to hold it for a while.
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The bad spot is probably at least 20 feet from the nearest edge of the house. Can it be preped that far?
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The link also said that they generally didn't run the clay lines under buildings, but they did this time. :-)
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How does the plumber know what and where the failure is located? Did he have a camera on a cable, or is he basing it on similar failures in similar houses in the neighborhood?
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On Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:27:11 PM UTC-7, Judson McCranie wrote:

I hope you don't make a decision like that based on something posted here. The proper answer is: "Ask her insurance provider" All policies are not identical.
Harry K
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On 4/3/2014 11:03 PM, Harry K wrote:

Hoping someone would write that. Why would a bunch of (or even one) usenet poster know what is in the OP insurance policy?
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As far as I know, he doesn't have a camera. He has worked on their system several times, though.
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wrote:

I will.
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And if we're going to be suspicious of the plumber's advice, I'll remind you of what happened to my friend. His plumber was going to dig up the front lawn, IIRC (that is, not the basement floor, but I could be wrong) when another friend told my friend to call the county. They came out and cleaned that portion of the pipe that belonged to them, the feeder pipe that was under the county street and the land the country owned next to the street, and everything worked fine after that. It was the county's responsibility and didn't cost my friend a penny.
His other friend suggested it because same thing happened to him, including a different plumber's bad recommendation. Everyone trusts the second plumber's honesty, but he may be self-trained and incompetent, or maybe they shouldn't trust him. (Can't a reasonably smart guy who worked for a couple years as a plumber's assistant and studied the book for a while pass the license exam without actually being competent? Even while he thinks he's competent?) I think he had fouled up before on something smaller. And there was another plumber who had a column in a community newspaper in which he warned homeowners about the sharp jaws in the garbage disposal. In-sink-erator makes over 90% of the disposals, under several brand names, and my model at least has no sharp jaws.
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On 4/4/2014 3:06 AM, micky wrote:

Your friend is illegal alien, and pays zero taxes?
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On Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:17:17 -0400, Judson McCranie

Well if the repair is 5000 and the camera job is 700 (total guesses) I'd have a 3rd party come out with a camera. Just one reason, my friend, whose clog was not even on his own property.
Of course the plumber might say he DOES have a camera and he'll use it for 200, or much less than the third party. If I were a homeowner, I'd want to watch, but could I understand any more than my colonoscopy?
If perchance it is covered by insurance, the insurance company might pay in the same way medical insurance will pay for an MRI prior to surgery, to make sure one needs the surgery. But even if they have to pay themselves.
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I had a local company scope my pipe for free as part of the estimate. I told them that I suspected a root infiltration problem. The found a joint in the cast iron pipe that roots had grown through.
Is was something like $2K to line the pipe up to just past the joint with a 5 year guarantee. $4K to line the pipe all the way to the town's connection.
I apply a $25 treatment of Root-X once a year and haven't had a root problem in 3 years.
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On 4/3/2014 8:27 PM, Judson McCranie wrote:

Years ago I had a pipe freeze and break. The insurance covered the damage to the house which was ceiling drywall but did not cover the repair of the pipe.
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(a) read your policy (b) call your agent (c) don't expect good advice from usenet :-)
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Judson McCranie wrote:

If the plumber said he thinks your parents' homeowners insurance might cover the work, I assume that he has some reason to believe that -- such as prior jobs that he did for others in the area that apparently were at least partially covered by insurance. So, of course, check with your parents' insurance agent to see what their policy says and what it does and does not cover.
The video camera idea that was suggested by others would make sense to me. Where is the property located? --which State? In my area (New Jersey and nearby Pennsylvania) a video of a sewer line costs $295 or less. That would definitely be worth it before chopping up concrete, in my opinion.
And, where does the sewer line run? Is it below the concrete in an open basement, or is it below a cement slab that the first floor rooms of the house are on? If it is an open basement, is there an exposed sewer stack that comes down along the wall of the basement? Sometimes, you can tie into the sewer stack in the basement above the floor and then run a new PVC sewer line along the wall above the concrete floor, then through the exterior wall, and then on the outside dig down and tie it into the exterior line and/or the street sewer line. If all of the circumstances allow for this idea, you could avoid digging up the concrete. But, then again, if it is an open basement and the sewer line runs under the concrete basement floor, opening up the basement floor may be easy. Especially in older homes, sometimes the basement floor is just an easy-to-break 2-inch +/- slab that breaks up very easily.
More info and/or a few photos may help in terms of getting ideas of what your parents' options may be.
Let us know what you figure out on this one.
Good luck.
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On Fri, 04 Apr 2014 07:34:26 -0500, Stormin Mormon

Even illegal aliens pay property taxes. Indirectly if they rent, directly if they own. Just like everyone else.
The county paid for the sewer cleaning. The population of Baltimore county is about 60,000 families, so my friend paid about 1/60,000th of it in his taxes.
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On 4/4/2014 3:52 PM, micky wrote:

Don't bother trying to enlighten him. He and his fellow RWNJs don't care for truth or reality. They have the courage of their delusions. It's what comes from an eighth-grade education.
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