Tips for Homeowners on Evaluating Water Line Coverage

Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

Homeowners in North Alabama are receiving mailings from companies offering programs that provide water service line coverage. Be aware that, despite what the letters may say, coverage is completely optional.

Water service line coverage is a protection plan similar to an insurance policy and provides coverage for damage to water and sewer lines from the shutoff at the sidewalk box up to the home, which is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Keep the following tips in mind before you purchase water line insurance:

  • Read the service contract carefully and make sure you have a clear understanding of it, especially each of the exclusions. Some policies exclude natural disasters, thawing of frozen pipes, repair of covered parts, equipment and/or systems due to reduction in performance caused by normal wear and tear, repairs when parts are obsolete, costs to correct or upgrade a part, equipment and/or system in order to comply with the law, recalls, defects or class action suits.
  • Check with a local, trusted plumber to learn what types of problems could occur, how likely they are to occur and how much those repairs would cost. Find local BBB Accredited Plumbers.
  • Avoid purchasing coverage over the phone without seeing a contract with all details that you discussed in writing.
  • Shop around. Some providers are better than others in terms of price and, most importantly, customer service. Consumers should consider whether the provider is located locally or not, and if not, how quickly you could receive service should you need it.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with the company’s cancellation policy in case you change your mind after signing up.
  • Check the company’s BBB Business Review to see if there are any unanswered or unresolved complaints or if the company has a pattern of similar-type complaints at bbb.org.

Source: BBB North Alabama.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.