Water Line Insurance

February 27, 2023

Here’s something not everyone knows about plumbing: A lot of water companies have insurance covering water and sewer lines. Signing up for the insurance can save you a lot of money.

One of the things I didn’t mention in my update from Saturday was how I had had a contractor come out to give me an estimate and also patch the water pipes.

The contractor ended up not being able to do anything with the plumbing. It turns out that the water line is in such bad shape that it is literally unrepairable, and needs to be completely replaced. (Given the state of the house, I would not be surprised if that was the original water line put in when the house was built in 1950.)

I had previously gotten a quote of $13k to completely replace the water and sewer lines from end to end (from the meter to the fixtures). I balked at paying because the plumber hadn’t told me why it was necessary (the plumber did not share any details), but as it turns out, the work is actually required.

And if I am lucky, I won’t have to pay for all of it.

I was reminded today that my water company offers insurance which covers repairs and even replacement of a water or sewer line. The reason I know this is that about 15 years ago, my mother used that insurance to replace the water line at her house.

EDIT: The insurance is actually offered by an unrelated company called American Water Resources. (The similar name confused me.)

I signed up for the insurance today, and expect that it will save me a lot of money in the long run.

If you are a property owner, you should do the same.

Water Line Insurance, Part 2

(7 April 2023) So I have hit a snag with my water line insurance.

I filed a claim on my insurance this week, and after not hearing from the insurance company for 3 days I contacted them to request a status update. Much to my dismay, I was told that the insurance company did not have a contractor in this area, so they were going to make me hire the contractor, pay them, document the work done, and then file the paperwork.

Basically they want to stick me with the job of insurance adjustor. Naturally I am not thrilled at this development; not only do I not have the money to pay the contractor, I have no experience with documenting the work (this is after all one of the reasons why you get insurance). Also, their T&C says I can’t hire a contractor because the work will not be covered.

There’s no point in arguing the point with customer service reps; they can’t do anything. So instead I found a form on the company’s website where I could contact the office of the president, and sent a message. If this doesn’t bear fruit I plan to contact the BBB and state regulators.

Let’s see what happens.

Water Line Insurance, Part 3

(2 May 2023) This past month has been a learning experience, and not in a good way.

I filed a claim on my water line on 4 April, and as of 2 May it still hasn’t been repaired. I have contacted AWR no less than 8 times, and they have made only a token effort to effect a repair. Twice now they have contacted a plumber only because I nagged them, but they never bothered to follow up and make sure the work got done. Heck, they didn’t bother to check to see whether the plumbers showed up (neither did).

This company won’t take any action without repeated nagging, and I’m not the only one who says that. I didn’t find this out until today, but AWR has a 2.48 star rating at the BBB. The majority of the reviews are from customers as frustrated as I am (how I wish I had thought to check reviews first).

Do not give this company your money; you will be throwing it away.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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