Agreement takes aim at affordable water and sewer line protection insurance
Many homeowners are unaware their homeowners insurance doesn't cover the repair or replacement of underground water and sewer pipes, which go from the home to the street.
As cities in Washington State age, so do the water and sewer lines running through homeowners' properties. They can become a homeowner's nightmare, particularly exterior water and sewer lines that deteriorate because of unpreventable conditions such as invasive tree roots, shifting or settling ground, poor installation, age, rocky soil conditions or seasonal changes. The expense to locate, excavate and repair these underground service lines can cost thousands of dollars and can be a financial burden.
Karen, AAA member in Bellingham, Wash., had no reason to suspect she had a problem with the water line to her house until a neighbor informed her about the small river flowing across her driveway. After two leaks in her water line were discovered, she learned the cost of fixing them would add up to about $4,000. With exterior service-line insurance, the plan administrator paid for the repairs.
Monitoring water and sewer lines on a regular basis requires expertise and diagnostic equipment most people don't have the time or resources to obtain. As a result, most people do not discover problems until a failure occurs, creating the risk of expensive damage, waste of water or contamination of surrounding soils and waterways.
The partnership between AAA Washington and National Water Company creates option for exterior water and sewer line coverage, and to protect against costly repairs. Each service line, which are the sections between the outside foundation and the water meter and sewer connection at the property line, is covered up to $10,000 annually from a minor water line leak to a major repair. Once enrolled in the program, AAA Washington members can call customer service for 24-hour emergency response by local approved contractors.
In the three years since AAA Washington and National Water Company joined forces, more than 1,000 AAA Washington members have filed claims for water and sewer line repairs with positive results, including a very grateful woman in the Bellingham area.