When you’re shopping for a home insurance policy, you may be pitched an addition to your policy called service line insurance. What is this policy, and do you need it? Aren’t gas line covered by insurance? Here’s what you need to know.
Are Gas Lines Covered by Insurance?
The part of the gas line that is your responsibility is typically covered by homeowner insurance policies, the same as your electrical lines and plumbing lines. Often, policies will also cover damage caused by gas leaks and other issues related to the line. However, every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, and you should always read yours and have a professional read it to understand what is in it.
Some policies will not cover the gas lines. In this case, you may need a service line insurance policy to cover any costs from repairing the line. However, it is worth considering what the risk of a gas line issue is and the costs of such an issue, as compared to the price of the insurance policy. Just because a company offers a policy doesn’t necessarily mean the risk-reward ratio works out for you.
Don’t Utility Companies Own the Line?
Just as with the sewers, the utility company or the city should own the line at a certain point. For many homeowners in California, the utility company owns the line beyond the meter, which should be at or in your house. The utility company should be responsible for any damage to this line
You may still be responsible if you cause damage to the part of the line that you don’t own. If the utility company can prove that you acted in negligence, then they may sue you to pay for the cost of the line.
What is Service Line Insurance?
The details of each service line insurance policy are different. But, essentially, they are extensions of your home owner’s insurance policy. They cover the specified part of the gas line for certain risks. Those risks could include damage, leaks and explosions, however rare those risks may be.
As always, it’s important to know exactly what your specific service line insurance policy will cover and how that compares with the coverage you already have from your basic home owner’s policy. It may also add additional liability coverage that could be useful if you have a very costly repair to the line.
Do I Need Service Line Insurance?
Ask your gas company or your plumber if they recommend service line insurance in your area. While the insurance company may recommend it, remember that they are salespeople who want you to buy more of their products, even if it isn’t a wise move for you.
One insurance company was caught handing out flyers imitating the gas company, which argued that service line insurance was a good thing, even implying it may be mandatory. However, if you don’t own much of the line and not much is likely to happen to it, then service line insurance may just be a waste of money.