Service Line Coverage — Extend Your Home’s Protection

Two men repair a service line.

Imagine: It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and there are two minutes left in the game. Just as your favorite team kicks the game-winning field goal, your TV screen goes black. Your Internet line just broke, and your streaming service took the hit.

Not only did your Super Bowl party just get awkward, but now you’re also financially responsible for fixing the damage to the cable lines. 

Though you might not usually think about service lines like cable, water, sewer, electric and gas, because they are out of sight, should definitely not be out of mind. If these lines face any damage, it’s often up to you to pay for the fix in both your valuable time and money. However, it doesn’t have to be. 

You can secure every part of your home by investing in service line coverage, which will protect you against the financial burden of fixing utility lines under your home — even if it can’t rewind time so you can catch the last two minutes of the big game. 

Key takeaways:

  • Homeowners are financially responsible for the service lines under their homes.
  • Service line coverage protects you from having to pay for damage to your underground utility lines.
  • Service line coverage can protect you from hefty bills for excavating and repairing service lines for a low monthly payment. 

What is service line coverage?

While homeowners insurance might cover certain types of water damage that occur inside of your home, it usually doesn’t extend to the water line underneath your home. Service line coverage is a rider that can be added to your policy to ensure that these lines are covered.

As opposed to a service through your utility company that protects only the line you’re paying for, service line coverage protects all utility lines that run to your home. In the event of an accident to one of these lines, this type of coverage will usually cover the cost of repairing and replacing the line as well as landscaping and aesthetic costs post-repair. 

What are service lines?

Service lines are a network of underground cables, pipes and lines that connect your home to the city’s main supply for utility services. Essentially, they act as invisible veins that help your home’s heart beat. By bringing in electricity, heat, gas, Internet and more, these lines make your home habitable. 

Service lines include the following:

  • Sewage
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Steam
  • Internet
  • Telephone
  • Steam
  • Fiber optics

How do service lines get damaged?

Though it isn’t common, accidents do happen — even underground. If a home is in an earthquake zone, for example, the shifting earth might damage the lines underground. Or, if construction is going on in your neighborhood, keep in mind that excavations damaged 439,000 service lines in 2017. Corrosion also accounts for 850 water main breaks in the U.S. per day, resulting in over $64 million in damage since 2000

Some common ways that your service lines may get damaged include: 

  • Rodents
  • Freezes
  • Construction
  • Rust
  • Landscaping accidents
  • Digging on a person’s property
  • Wear and tear
  • Electrical or mechanical breakdowns

And these accidents will cost you — even if you’re not at fault. Utility companies will very rarely take the blame, it is usually up to the customer to front the bill. So if your sewer line is damaged, the repair will typically cost between $1,000 and $4,000, with the average cost sitting at $2,556. 

Service line coverage protects you from having to pay for damage to your underground utility lines.

What does service line coverage protect you from?

If an accident does happen, service line coverage will help you throughout the repair process. This type of coverage helps take care of some of the financial costs that result from the line breakage, including:

  • Repair of lines
  • Line excavation
  • Expediting expenses
  • Loss of use if you must vacate during repairs
  • Outdoor property repairs
  • Replacement costs

What does service line coverage not protect you from?

What is and isn’t covered in service line coverage varies by provider. However, there are a few damages that are typically not covered. These include water well damage, HVAC systems, fuel tanks, sump pumps, lines that run under your home but aren’t connected to it and septic systems. 

How much does service line coverage cost?

Excavating, repairing and replacing a service line, then fixing aesthetic damages incurred during the repair can be pricey. Service line coverage, on the other hand, isn’t. Typically, service line coverage runs between $20 and $50 in additional insurance premiums per year. Depending on your provider, you may also have to pay a deductible before insurance kicks in — usually $500. 

This low monthly cost compared to how much protection this add-on provides makes service line coverage a worthy investment — and one you’ll be grateful for in the event of a burst water pipe or cable line eaten by rodents. And for those with newer insurance providers — like Hippo — it’s a no brainer. Service line coverage is already rolled into the standard policy.

Is service line coverage required?

Total home wellness and protection is crucial. Imagine spending a week in the winter without heating, trying to work from home without the Internet or taking a shower without water. And on top of that, imagine if the repairs to the line make your house uninhabitable, and you’re forced to spend time in a hotel during the work. Then, on top of the inconvenience, you’ve got a hefty bill to front. Service line coverage can shoulder the financial burden. 

Even though it isn’t required, this coverage can be beneficial if you ever need to use it. And for a small monthly payment — or sometimes, no monthly payment depending on the provider — you get the peace of mind and protection you need in the event an accident occurs.

Next time you run into an issue with your home — service lines or otherwise — let Hippo have your back. If anything happens to your home, including the service lines, Hippo can help navigate the fix. Your Hippo Claims Concierge in collaboration with our partner network of contractors and repair-people will take care of the details and have your home back to normal quickly.