Water & Sewer line insurance

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Sewer February 1, 2013 at 10:45 am

Water & Sewer line insurance

I just received a letter from the DEP about water and sewer line insurance provided by American Water Resources (AWR) and billed directly to the quarterly water & sewer bill. At first i though this was a skam, although if it is, it is a very good one. The cost for both water and sewer lines is $11.98 per month, although it goes up $1 per month after June. it covers, so it appears, the connections outside of my house but that I am still responsible for (although has a long list of “what repairs are not covered”). Has anyone else gotten this letter? What do you think? What has it cost to replace or repair those lines when something breaks? Thanks for your input.

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I have no information about this insurance, but I VERY strongly doubt that DEP, or any City agency would endorse any specific company which, I think, would be in violation of Chapter 68 of the City Charter, so the letter might well have been deceptive (or fraudulent if they actually spoofed DEP letterhead). That being said repairs to water mains and sewer lines cost thousands of dollars, so the insurance MIGHT be worthwhile IF you can determine that American Water Resources is a bona fide company offering real, usable, insurance.

I thought it was a scam too, but then found this DEP press realease…

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/press_releases/13-004pr.shtml

Still, I personally would pass.

Depending on the age of you watermain an sewer it may be worthwhile considering the high cost of repair or replacement..  Here is the link for the fine print as to what is covered http://www.awrusa.com/american-water-resources/awr/page19281.html
I’ll look over the details, probably call them with questions and give it consideration.

I went to the DEP website and the offer looks legitimate. With service lines coming into my house from a main that runs across the opposite side of the street, I’d be facing extemely costly repairs in fixing any of those problems. It’s something to think about.

Interesting. If you read on the service does seem to have been competively solicited:

To help property owners better manage these risks and the high costs of service line breaks, the New York City Water Board issued a Request for Proposals from qualified providers for service line protection programs in 2012. After a thorough review, AWR was awarded a contract to administer the service line protection programs for roughly 670,000 eligible properties in New York City.

Whatever I might think about whether it’s ethical for the City to single out a specific insurance company, the insurance actually does seem worthwhile. I’ll look into enrolling.

Guess I don’t understand exclusions. The following 2 seem like they make the policy useless?
[NOT covered] Repairing anything caused by You or any third parties
LOL. Doesn’t this pretty much negate any coverage?

[NOT covered] Excavating Your Home’s Foundation or slab in order to access any section of Your Water Line.
And since this would seem pretty mandatory to change/repair the lines, wouldn’t you always wind up paying?

From what I’ve seen done elsewhere, a lot of the work is not on foundation nor slab – it’s usually in the front area or pavement.  You or a third party are also not likely to cause the damage unless a tree’s roots are considered a 3rd party.

I just signed up for this.  Several of my neighbors have paid 15K – 20K for new sewer lines.  $12 a month for insurance is a bargain.   

In Ditmas Park where I have been since 1994, I have only heard of two sewer or water line replacements in the area—that’s in 18 years.
One was due to the whole house burning down (sewer was clogged with ash and debris),
the second was when a neighbor swapped-out the existing lead pipes for pvc.

This insurance offer from AWR is totally optional. Your sewer line may crack and break in a 50-year period, it may not.

I’m surprised to hear of the necessity for so many new sewer lines (bklynjim, CARROL GARDENS), unless there was new construction, street repairs?

From Long Island, 88 year old house. Forty six-foot sewer line, first 10′ cast iron followed by 3′ sections of clay pipe. I’m researching AMR’s “protection plan,” not insurance as many think. The company specifically clarified this with me over the phone. Don’t understand their semantics. Tried searching for satisfied customers, but can’t find any. BBB had 36 plus complaints, but all resolved. The tipping point for me would be happy customers. Any out there?

I own a few homes within the five boroughs and assumed this is a win/win situation for someone in my position. I joined the program several months ago and made my first call after receiving a DEP violation for my water main leaking. They sent a plumber to fix the leak which happen to have been the plumber I have been using for over 15 years (Harris Water Main & Sewer), as always they resolved the issue and the entire job fell withing the coverage plan.
I have had an extremely positive experience up to this point!

Very interesting experience I may say. I signed up for the American water insurance almost 8 months ago, I figured why not for the few dollars a month. Last week I had a sewer backup in my basement and almost forgot that I had purchased the program as I was calling my plumber. I called American water and they were great, quick response and extremely nice on the phone.
They sent another company (liberty water and sewer) who investigated the sewer line and quickly told me that the pipe was cracked. They told me I would get a call back shortly with details. When they called back I was made aware that my crack was “pre existing” and would not be covered under my plan. This was a complete surprise to me as I had no knowledge of any sewer issues before the backup in my basement.
I began to research liberty as a company when I found out that the owner was involved in a scandal where they ripped off the MTA for millions of dollars. The article said that he served jail time and was confirmed by several news articles.
I was completely surprised that NYC would have this type of company representing them with the new insurance plan, I don’t know exactly what is going on with American Water, DEP and the people who do the work but something does not feel right.
I ended up canceling my policy after wasting over $100 dollars for nothing,

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