Could you be at risk for an expensive, uninsured water or sewer line break?

August 25, 2021 by PEMCO Insurance

​Your PEMCO policy can protect you against broken water and sewer lines inside your home. Similarly, your utility company takes care of anything under the street. But did you know that you may be responsible for repairing leaks in the pipes running between your home and the sidewalk? Broken sewer line repairs can cost up to $200 a foot – meaning you could get surprised with a hefty bill if you have more than a short stretch to replace.  

Older homes, especially those built before the days of PVC pipe, are more prone to water or sewer line failure. Having a wooded lot with tree roots that can encroach on lines also raises the likelihood of a problem. If your neighbors already have had to replace their lines, chances are, you're at risk, too. 

Like most insurers in the United States, PEMCO doesn't sell sewer line insurance, but our brokerage arm, PEMCO Insurance Agency, can connect you with companies that do. Their coverage would pay for excavating, replacing the broken pipe and backfilling holes in your lawn and reseeding it. 

GettyImages-1192217176.jpg Some restrictions and coverage limits apply. If you'd like to learn more and get a quote, talk to your local PEMCO agent or call 1-800-GO-PEMCO and we can put you in touch with a representative from PEMCO Insurance Agency. 

Four tips to keep your pipes healthier 

1. Choose landscaping plants carefully. Some common species, including willows and cottonwoods, are notorious for invasive roots. 

2. Don't pour cooking grease down the drain. As it cools, it will set up inside the pipes, coating and narrowing them. And if you have a garbage disposal, never put these six foods down it. 

3. Don't flush wipes, diapers or sanitary products. Even if they're labeled as "flushable," they often don't biodegrade as advertised and can plaster themselves to pipe walls, narrowing them and preventing a free flow of water and waste. 

4. Don't ignore signs of a problem. Caught early, blockages may be remedied with less costly solutions like water-jetting or using a rotary cutting tool to remove invasive roots. Call a plumber immediately if you notice persistently slow draining sinks or water backing up into a tub or sink when you flush the toilet. Unexplained high water bills or a soft spot in the lawn may be signs a break already has occurred.   

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