Water line insurance

Received a mailing from our local water company today urging me to purchase water line repair insurance from them for $60 a year.
This would cover the cost of repairs (up to $4,000 per incident) to the water line which is on my property up to the street side valve on my water meter, which is inside my house. Pipe that's on the street side of the parkway is on City property and isn't covered by the insurance, but would be repaired by the water company. I know this because last year there was a problem with my Buffalo box that was repaired without cost by the water company.
Insurance includes replacement of pipe, filling in any excavation, restoring surface to original condition, and replacing sidewalk if it's necessary to remove or damage sidewalk.
It covers "normal wear and tear and leakage" but just about nothing else. Doesn't cover damage by me or by third parties or from natural causes like earthquakes, tornados, and floods, or any damage to added piping such as to an underground sprinkler system.
I've only been a homeowner for about 6 years, but it doesn't seem to me that water pipe damage like that covered by this insurance is very common. The houses surrounding mine were all built about the same time and, at least for the time we've lived here, I've never known anyone to suffer water pipe damage covered by this insurance.
My inclination is to pass but I'd like to hear opinions from more experienced home owners. Any comment will be appreciated.
-Len
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I've never heard of such a policy. Sounds like a rip off to me.. May not really have anything to do with the local water company or may be kicking back to them for the referal..
Water lines go for 10 to 20 years without any problem if they were properly installed. Especially today with the plastic pipes. A severe freeze might be the only cause for damage to a underground pipe. Freezing or earthquake most likely would be covered under your home owners policy..
Let's see $60 yr for 10 years = $6000.. You should be able to hire a backhoe and repair a pipe for about 1/3 that..
Always someone dreaming up ways to take our money.. I'll bet that you never dreamed of a water line failure until this notice came around.
Steve
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says...

Hmmmm.... There seems to be a little math problem here. :)
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Your right Jim.. I stand corrected.
Steve
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But it's still a rip off.
Boden
Steve wrote:

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Read the fine print and check out how many exclusions they have before you sign up. It will also depend on how deep your line is, what it is made of and local problems that could cause trouble.

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wrote:

I did read the fine print, most of which I outlined in my first post (no coverage for accidental damage by me or any third party, no coverage for natural occurrences like earthquakes, tornoados and floods). Coverage is for "ordinary wear and tear and leaks".
We've lived here for 5 winters so far, a couple of them severely cold, without problem. The previous owner lived here for 20 years with apparently no problem.
I think I'll pass on the insurance and squander the $60 on food or something.
Thanks!
-Len
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According to the mailing piece the company offering the insurance is "an affiliate" of the water company.

It doesn't mention freezing but does not cover damage from earthquake.

Yeah, exactly. And none of my neighbors that I talked to have ever had water line problems, either.
Thanks!
-Len
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lets see third grade math says: $60 X 10 = $600 and thats what a plumber would charge you to come in and fix a pipe that broke... without digging up anythying..... if they got to dig then you looking at about $4,000.00
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..... if they got to dig then you looking at about

If it's a big leak and good pressure, just wait a few hours and you won't have to dig at all.. Just pump out the mud..
Steve
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My neighbor just replaced his sewer and water lines (broke them jacking up his house.)
$112 labor plus materials to dig out and re-fill three trenches from the house to the street. Materials and 3 hours of plumber were less than $250.
Boden
jim wrote:

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jim wrote:

Depends on where you live and what lenght you need to dig up. It only $1000 total for me to hook up to the sewer and that involved digging to a depth of about 8 feet at the street plus putting in the pipe.
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Sixty a year for ten years equals six grand? Only in Chicago.
--
Christopher A. Young
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I'd pass too, but I had a water pipe failure at my last house. The idiots planted a tree about 3 feet from the waterline. These people built the house and the guy was a contractor, but still didn't think about planting next to a pipe. After about 25 years, a tree root under the poly water pipe got big enough that the top of the pipe split and leaked. It leaked a lot, bit I didn't notice it for probably 3 or 4 days (it was raining and I just thought the rain had been excessive. It wasn't until the rain had stopped for a day that I say the "current" in the water and realized what was happening.
The fix was cut down the tree, dig a hole and splice the poly pipe. Took about 4 hours and $4 in materials. The biggest potential cost was all the water that leaked. Our water company has a one time grace per property for leaks like this, so we didn't have to pay the full amount. But we did pay a larger than normal bill for that month.
I'd only consider this insurance if they pay for your excess water use during a water line failure. But better to eliminate trees next to the water pipe.
-- Mark Kent, WA
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 01:46:43 GMT, "Mark or Sue"
Interesting. There's no tree close to the water supply line for our house, but there is a huge maple within a few feet of our sewer lateral where it connects to the sewer main. We did get some root growth in the lateral that had to be opened by routing it out. Now, at the suggestion of the man who did the routing, we run some strong lye through the cleanout into the lateral and flush it with cold water about once a month. It's two years now and there have been no problems.
We're pretty sure that the water line isn't affected by the tree because three years ago when we put new valves on each side of the water meter, the water company couldn't shut the water off at the Buffalo box. They finally dug it up and replaced it. The excavation was big enough for two men to work in it, and there was no sign of any tree roots that might lift the water pipe. Thanks,
-Len

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My village replaced the water service, from front to back, and do to insurance reasons, I had to pay, to be reimbursed by the village.
It came to about 4000 if I remember, that included directional boring from the street (b-box), under the house, to a hole jackhammered into the floor, and reconnecting the service in the basement. This got single 1" copper tube from b-box to meter. No digging other than the b-box hookup.
That took a special boring rig, on a truck, now most decent plumbers should have their own portable rig.
So unless your a lot further than 75', that is a high end number.
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It's a rip off. Just because you can get insurance, it doesn't mean you should. There might be special places that this might be a good deal, but it isn't most places and most people don't have this type of insurance. The fact is, it so stupid that insurance companies probably never had the nerve to try to sell it. Besides the insurance covers none of the major possible disaster.
Telephone companies would also like to pay a monthly amount to insure your telephone lines (from the distribution box attached to your house to the interior). This costs much less that your water insurance but it is a huge ripoff. Telephone lines under your house don't detriorate unless you have some special problem with rodents or bugs and you should fix those problems first. Anyway, depending on how many jacks you have, you could rewire the hole thing for about the cost of a years insurance, but that would never be necessary. Have you ever heard of needing the interior telephone wire needing repair?
LenS wrote:

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"LenS" wrote in message

I repaired my water leak for a total cost of $60. That included installing an additional outside water faucet. (I dug up the pipe with a shovel.)
I never pay for things like this (extended warranties, inside phone line repair plan, etc.) I can repair a lot of things myself, but when something is beyond repair (not very often), I can easily buy a new [whatever] with all the money I saved by not purchasing extended warranties on anything.
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