The Lowdown on Service Line and Equipment Breakdown Insurance for Homeowners

Tractor excavating front yard of home for utility work.

Did you know there are two very affordable extended coverage options for your home insurance policy? Equipment Breakdown and Service Line endorsements offer additional protection to the appliances, systems, and utilities in and around your home. These options are at a much lower cost and cover a significantly wider range than home warranties and are additions to your home policy, instead of a separate contract.

What is equipment breakdown coverage?

This coverage protects the electrical, mechanical, or pressure systems against unexpected repair or replacement.

This may include:

  • Clothes washers and dryers.
  • Computer equipment.
  • Sump and well water pumps.
  • HVAC and central A/C systems.

Example of equipment breakdown insurance

A storm caused a power outage and with it damaged your computer and other electronic equipment in your home. Replacement or repair of the damaged products may be covered for repair or replacement, up to the amount provided by the policy.

Is equipment breakdown insurance worth it?

Essentially this is extending the existing coverage your home insurance offers. The difference is the type of event and the damage inflicted. Depending on your home configuration and the items you want to be covered, you’ll want to have a discussion with your agent to make sure the equipment breakdown option offered by your home policy will protect you. Not every carrier offers this coverage or some of the items you may want the extra coverage to protect.

Equipment breakdown is often compared to a home warranty. Although similar, equipment breakdown offers much more protection at a much lower cost. Plus, it is connected with your home insurance policy, not a third-party, and on a contract.

A two-story furnished home with highlights of each appliance potentially covered by equipment breakdown coverage

We are here to help you through all your options for your home. Working with an independent agency gives you the flexibility of choosing the right coverage. Book an appointment with a local Northwest agent to discuss your options.

What about service line coverage?

Service line coverage will extend your existing homeowners’ policy to the underground piping or wiring that connects a home to a public utility or private system. This could be caused by:

  • Collapse, but not including sinkhole or subsidence collapse.
  • Electrical and mechanical or pressure systems breakdown.
  • Rust or other corrosion, decay, deterioration, hidden or latent defect.

Example of service line insurance

A tree root grows into a sewer pipe on your property causing a leak, service line coverage would cover the work required to locate and replace the damaged piping. You would be responsible for the deductible and then the coverage would cover up to the limit of the policy.

Is service line insurance worth it?

Make sure to discuss the details of this coverage with your local agent before signing up. Depending on the company there could be large variations in the options. A case in point is private septic systems and wells. The coverage often extends to the piping connecting the systems, but not the actual septic system or water pump.

The largest benefit of this coverage is the total cost of these types of repairs. If a sewer line is damaged, it may take a contractor several hours to locate, plus the cost of equipment rental and excavation. There are rarely problems with the service lines coming into our homes, but when there is an issue it disrupts everything in addition to the cost of repair. Often these policies are extremely affordable, many lower than $50 annually.

Next steps

Both coverages (service line and equipment breakdown) are extensions of your current home policy, which come at an additional cost. However, the coverages listed protect your property and investments that are at risk and are expensive to replace. These coverages will help give you peace of mind and when a problem arises, a swift resolution allowing you to continue with your daily life.

Not every carrier offers these endorsements, so be sure to discuss them with your agent. Additionally, there could be rules before the coverage starts including a mandatory waiting period or only available at the time of renewal. The last thing to consider is your type of home. Some options may not be available for manufactured or mobile homes.

Before getting started, take a quick look around your home and note what items would carry a high expense of repairing or replacing should an issue arise. Do you have high-end appliances that would be difficult to replace if a power surge damaged them? If a tree or vehicle damaged your service lines, could you afford to excavate and repair? Note these topics and call or email your agent to discuss your options.

As always, here at Cross Insurance Agency, we are here to help you. Call, email, text, or book an appointment with one of our professional local agents and we can work together to find the best option for you. Being local and independent, we can find the best fit at the right price.