Underground service lines coverage

There are a lot of property risks to keep in mind if you’re a homeowner. But have you thought about the ones that might be lurking under your property? As a homeowner, underground service lines that run from your home to the property line are your responsibility to maintain. It’s easy for an incident, or general wear and tear, to eventually result in some unforeseen expenses.

Underground service lines coverage is typically not included in a standard homeowners policy. Utility companies may offer coverage, but these options can be costly and might only cover one utility line, as opposed to everything running under your property.

Buried pipe near sidewalk
staked flags indicating utlitiy lines in yard

Underground line examples

Some examples of underground service and utility lines include:

  • Water, sewer and drainage pipes
  • Electric, telephone, internet and cable wires
  • Natural gas lines

A lot can happen to utility lines underneath your property. A tree root could grow through a water pipe, causing a leak and higher bills until it is repaired. Freezing pipes, damage from animals, an artificial electric current and even just the repeated weight of vehicles pressing down on the ground can all cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Federal and state excavation laws

If you are considering digging into the ground on your property, put down that shovel. Under federal and state law, all homeowners and contractors are required to notify the appropriate utility companies before doing any excavation work.

Dig Safe System

To help you comply with this legislation, many utility companies have banded together to form the Dig Safe system. By contacting the program, you can fulfill both state and federal requirements for notification during any digging, trenching, blasting, demolishing, boring, backfilling, grading, landscaping and similar projects.

When using the Dig Safe system, you and any hired contractors can avoid damaging underground utilities, and harming equipment or yourself.

Dig Safe Request

You can simply visit www.digsafe.com or call 1-888-DIG-SAFE to request that a service person come to your property and mark the location of underground facilities. When you call, you will be given a permit number as a confirmation of your request. It is wise to contact the program well in advance of when you plan to start the project to allow for ample time for them to come to your residence and mark the utilities.

Root out your risk

Regardless of how the damage may occur, repairs can be costly. Fixing a water lateral is less simple than just repairing the pipe itself. As a homeowner without service line coverage, you may be responsible for expenses related to digging up your driveway, sidewalk or landscaping to reach the line, as well as repairing and replacing everything.

Underground service lines coverage may also cover hotels, meals and other living expenses should you be forced to leave your home while repairs are done. Take the necessary steps to protect your property and your wallet.

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