Sewer/Water Policy

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I am just wondering if any of you have an insurance policy covering the sewer/water lines from the edge of the street to your home?
In my city, the city will cover any sewer or water line pipe, etc. damage up to my property line next to the street. But, if the line breaks on my property, I am stuck with a huge bill if this problem occurs.
I can get coverage at $95 a year. Even though I may not need it for 20 years (and hopefully never), I would still be money ahead even if I kept the policy all of these years. Backhoes, etc. are not cheap.
I would appreciate any feedback.
Thanks.
Kate
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Did you read the fine print on that insurance policy? If Im not mistaken the insurance company will choose the contractor that will do the work. Which means he can charge what ever he wants and if its over the limit of what the policy will pay then youre stuck with the cost anyway. How about doing a Google search on a key sentence on the fine print and posting a link to it so we all here can take it apart.
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On 12/26/2010 11:29 PM, Molly Brown wrote:

Yes, I did read the fine print. The company is called, "National Water Company", and if you type that in Google Search, it will pop up.
They cover up to $5,000 in coverage per occurrence, within $5,000 aggregate for Water Line Protection policy. The same applies for the sewer line policy.
You are right, my ins. co. chose the contractor. I live in a very small town, and this area has been trying to find a contractor for years. I see a lot of this type of repair being done to sewer/water lines in this town, but mostly around older homes. My home is only 13 years old, but I understand newer homes have problems too.
Thanks for your input, and I hope this helps clear things up a bit.
Like I said, I welcome all feedback.
Thanks.
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$95 per year does not sound unreasonable. I had to have a length of underground pipe replaced a few years ago and IIRC the cost was about $1400. Some other things to consider, though, are the deductible and the whether the insurance company will raise your rates if a claim is filed.
--
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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On 12/27/2010 3:48 PM, Larry W wrote:

No there is no deductible, and this is a separate policy from my Homeowner's/Automobile policies. The agent told me to not hesitate if I need to file a claim on my homeowner's policy.
Thanks.
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re: "Modern day underground pipelines and drains properly installed are not likely to give trouble"
Underground pipelines have been in use for centuries.
Define "modern day".
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On Tue, 28 Dec 2010 21:10:33 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
Right off hand I would call any PVC system "modern." Don't know if municipalities/contractors are using PVC for feeder lines from houses to main sewers. But tile lines are prone to breakage and collapse, and the mortar joints get infiltrated by tree roots. I'm sure everything here underground is tile. Inside, my house - circa 1959 - the sewer stack is cast iron, with oakum stuffed/lead-filled joints. Supply pipes are all galvanized steel.
Some of this is determined by code. When I was working as a plumber's "assistant" in the early '80's PVC wasn't allowed in Chicago, for sewer or supply. Don't know what's changed.
If I ever redo my plumbing here I'm as likely to replace with galvanized as copper, because I've worked with steel pipe all my life. It's just stronger than copper, and no question about joints leaking. But I might go with copper. Might depend on price. Scale isn't a big issue here with Lake Michigan water. So far I've got excellent flow. I replaced all my galvanized in my last house when it got constricted. That pipe was about 50 years old too. Found the only serious scaling constriction in the piping from and close to the water heater. The heat must encourage the minerals to precipitate onto the pipe.
That water heater fed two families though, this one doesn't get as much use. I suspect constricted flow will show up on the hot water side, and just replacing the outlet pipes there will fix it. Depends on my energy level at the time.
Anyway, whenever I see PVC in a sewer system, that's "modern" to me. I hear they use rubber boots with stainless steel band clamps to connect cast iron stack pipe now, instead of oakum and lead. Probably wouldn't call that "modern." Just an "advancement."
--Vic
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Kate wrote:

Hmm. My son had his sewer line replaced, about 70' from the house to the city main line.
His neighbor (a Guatemalan) dug up the old stuff (some kind of thin, black, plastic) laid in the '60s. The original was replaced with some new plastic pipe about 6" in diameter - I think it was green - with 3/8" thick walls, then covered it all back up.
Total cost was $450.
I'm glad my son has made friends in the immigrant community - they do good work and have many contacts who will do similar good work in other specialties off the books.
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On 12/27/2010 3:54 AM, HeyBub wrote:

I am quite sure they would have to be busting out concrete in my case.
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The last one of those policies I read before I started routinely trashing them stated that "the repairs to the line was covered but the concrete, landscaping and other incidentals were not".
Be sure you read the thing with a reconvicted mindset of how are they going to screw me.
Colbyt
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On 12/27/2010 10:15 AM, Colbyt wrote:

Our local water system is gravity fed from mountain reservoirs. So there tends to be high pressure in the early AM. Like in many areas folks started using black plastic tubing for water service lines. After some years many of those lines started to fail because they can't withstand the pressure surges. Now all new and replacement lines are K copper.
My buddies parents bought the water line and sewer line "insurance". They have a plastic service line. The line failed right inside the wall and flooded the basement. Insurance paid contractor shows up and cuts out the split section and inserts a coupling and some clamps and declares the job done. My buddy follows up and finds out they will only do the least amount of work required. If the line breaks 20 more times they will just put more bandaids on it. A few months later the line failed in another spot and flooded the basement again.
My buddy hired a contractor and in less than two hours they installed a brand new copper service line.
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George wrote:

Huh?
Did the mountain go down as the sun came up?
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No, but the water pressure often does in a marginal system. You know, the gravity of the sun, tides in the water tank, and all that...
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On 12/28/2010 1:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Nothing to do with the system being marginal. It is simply higher pressure because of lower demand.
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Sewer lines espically the terracota type tend to get tree root problems.
These are easily solved by mixing a 25 pound bag of rock salt in hot water in say basement washtub occasionally.
The salt kills tree roots fast but doesnt harm the tree asnd is cheap too
Most tree root prblems occur in early spring just before trees leaf out
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That means the system *is* marginal. There should be enough reserve/regulation that there is no pressure change.
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wrote:

I hear you, but around here you can't get away with unpermitted, unlicensed outside sewer work. The "officials" will see you doing it. But folks should really ask around and keep their ears open for getting some things done. I've saved a lot of money that way. These guys usually don't advertise, so you have to stay alert to find them. As far as those sewer lines, best insurance is to cut down any trees around them. Might keep leaves out of the gutters too.
--Vic
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re: "As far as those sewer lines, best insurance is to cut down any trees around them."
Unless the tree belongs to a neighbor.
I've got a neighbor's tree next my sewer line on one side of the house and a huge oak next to the house on the other side. Not much I can do about either one.
A large branch (actually more like a split trunk) that was not over my property line came down on my roof and deck but luckily did no real damage. My ins co paid for the clean-up.
I asked them if they would pay to remove the branches that *do* overhang my house and they said no. If they come down, they'll pay for the repairs, but they won't cover any "preventative work". It's a huge expense because you can't get a bucket near what needs to be trimmed so it would all have to be done from within the tree, tied off from above, etc.
They did however send a registered letter to my neighbor - not at my request, but he was still pissed at me - suggesting that he cut the tree down because if it damaged my house they would go after his ins co which could result in a rate increase for him. It would be "in his best interest" to avoid the problem by cutting the tree down. Yeah, like that'll work.
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?

Screw him, protect yourself. You can legally cut the branches over your property.
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I know what I can legally do, but I'll repeat what I said about cutting the branches over my house:
"It's a huge expense because you can't get a bucket near what needs to be trimmed so it would all have to be done from within the tree, tied off from above, etc."
Not only would it cost me much more than I care to spend, but it would all have to be done from within *his* tree, subjecting me to possibly even more expense if his tree gets damaged.
Yes, I also know all about using a fully insured contractor, etc. but it's just not something I want to pay for or get involved with. I know what damage will be done if a branch comes down and I willing to have my ins co pay for it. For what it would cost me to have the tree trimmed, I can probably raise the roof on that section of the house during the repair. ;-)
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