Louisville Water Buried Water Line

Louisville Water Buried Line Coverage

In this article we will look at the buried water line “insurance” program homeowners can sign up for through the Louisville Water Buried Line Coverage.

The program is known as a service provided by Louisville Water Company, but it is actually run by a national company based in New York called Homeserve. You sign up for the program through Homeserve, and Homeserve gives Louisville Water Company a cut of the action.

According to Homeserve, all repairs through the program are made by local, licensed contractors here in Louisville, KY. As best I can tell, Homeserve facilitates things, hires local plumbers, and gives the water company a piece of the pie for their database of customers.

In this post, we’ll focus on these three main topics:

  • What options are available for homeowners?
  • What does the program cover and what is excluded?
  • Is it worth it? Should you sign up?
Homeserve Logo

Note: These days just about every home sale has a “home warranty” program attached to it. Home warranties do not cover buried pipes in your yard; at least I have never seen one that does.

If you are thinking of skipping Louisville Water Company’s Buried Line Coverage because you have a home warranty, you will want to be sure and read the fine print of your warranty policy.

I’ll bet you find that your pipes outside the foundation are not covered.

The Buried Line program gives homeowners the ability to buy into an insurance-type policy for a low monthly fee.

If you have a problem with your plumbing system, most of the time, you can have that issue repaired under this program. Note: I assume there is some kind of law prohibiting Louisville Water Company and Homeserve from calling this program an ‘insurance policy’ because they don’t, even though most folks that have asked me about it do.

Let’s look at the different options offered with the program and who should be looking at each option. Keep in mind that your general homeowner’s insurance policy does not typically cover these types of repairs, nor will an aforementioned home warranty.

All of the items detailed in this post are your responsibility. Welcome to being a homeowner!

What Water Pipes are Covered?

When it comes to buried lines, your home has two water pipes:

  • The main potable water line (aka main water line) that brings your drinking water into the home.
  • The main sewer line (aka waste line) that takes your home’s to waste out to the street where it connects to the city sewer system. Note: If you have a septic system, this would be the main line that runs between your home and your septic tank.

Because both of these lines are buried, the cost to replace/repair them if something bad happens can be a lot of money. How much money? A cheap repair will be in the low $1,000’s, and an expensive one can be $5, $10, even $20,000. There are a variety of reasons that dictate the cost of this type of repair.

Despite the potential cost, I am of the opinion that not everyone should sign up for this program. In fact, I don’t have any extra warranties or insurance on my home beyond the standard homeowner’s policy.

So…Should you sign up? Maybe.

I’ve marked up the image below to show you a very basic layout of what your neighborhood utilities might look like. The blue lines are the potable (drinking) water and the red lines are the neighborhood sewer lines. If your home is on a septic system, you will not have a utility-based red line, but you will have the main waste line that runs from your home out to your septic tank.

Home plumbing diagram
The two water lines most homes have are the potable water lines (blue) and sewage waste lines (red).

As the homeowner, you are responsible for the blue line from the output of the water meter to your home.

Your sewer line (red) responsibility is similar to the main water (blue), as you are responsible for the pipe from the sewage main tap back to your house. The sewage line does not have a meter. You are billed for sewage based on the amount of water you use each month.

The buried water line program offered by the Louisville Water Company gives you options on what you want to cover. You can choose from three options, but we are only going to cover the two that pertain to the lines outside of the home:

Exterior Water Service Line Coverage

This will be what most of you call your “main water line.”

Once this pipe leaves your water meter, which is typically in the ground by the street or sidewalk, and heads to your house, it’s your baby.

Should a break or leak occur in your main water line, you will have to dig up your yard to locate the problem and repair things.

Sometimes finding the leak can be tough, and if the damage happens to run under your driveway, porch, or landscaping, it will have to be removed to access the damaged pipe.

The cost for this option is $5.49 a month according to Homeserve.

You can download a PDF of the full terms and conditions here. EXTERIOR WATER SERVICE LINE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. I have broken down this document into different sections to make it easier for you to read and understand. Simply click the tab for each section.

Who is eligible for this coverage?

Owners of:
• A single structure permanently secured to the ground (“Home”) and the
land it is located on (“Property”) that is used and zoned only for residential
occupancy, including:
a) Single-family homes
b) Townhomes
c) Multi-family homes

Who is not eligible for this coverage?

Owners of:
• Recreational vehicles or homes intended to be moved
• Properties used for commercial purposes
Properties that have:
• A line with a pre-existing condition, defect or deficiency that you are
aware of prior to the start date of Your first term
• An entire Line shared with a third party or that is covered by a
homeowner’s, condominium or like association

You must call HomeServe for Covered Repairs.

You are responsible for charges beyond Your Benefit Limit.

Under this Service Agreement, normal wear and tear of your line, as
described below, is characterized by deterioration that occurs naturally over
time resulting from standard use.

What is a Covered Repair?

Repair or replacement of the following, for which You have sole
responsibility, that is damaged due to normal wear and tear:

• A permanently blocked, leaking, or low pressure (less than 30 pounds per
square inch with 2 or fewer fixtures open) line that provides fresh water to
Your Home.

What sections are covered?

• If supplied by a utility: Your line from your property boundary to the
external wall of Your Home.

• If supplied by a well: Your line from the external wall of your well casing
to the external wall of your home.

What is the maximum amount We will pay for Covered Repairs?

• Up to $7,000 per Term (“Benefit Limit”).
• Multiple Service Calls up to the Benefit Limit.
See “What is a Service Call?” below.

Are there additional benefits?
• Up to $750 per Term is available to repair sidewalks and/or pavement
located in a public easement damaged due to a Covered Repair for Your
Line.

What restoration is included?

• Restoration to any area disturbed by the Covered Repair is limited to
filling, raking, and reseeding of grass, reinstallation of existing soft
landscaping and shrubbery, and patching of paved surfaces.

• Debris will be removed from the restoration area.

What is not covered?

General exclusions: Damages, losses or expenses, whether from accident, negligence or otherwise, caused by:

(a) You or any person or entity other than Us or HomeServe or
(b) unusual circumstances, meaning a natural disaster, act of God (such as fires, explosions, earthquakes,
drought, tidal waves, extreme weather, and floods), war, riots, hostilities, strikes, work slowdowns, or acts or threats of terrorism.

Excluded Damages (see “Limits of liability”), for example damages necessary to access the repair area. Your rights and remedies may vary depending on the state where Your Property is located.

Correction of, or reimbursement for, any repairs or restorations made by You or anyone You hire.

Any correction, upgrade, or move of Your existing Line in order to meet any code, law, regulation, or ordinance, if not directly related to the necessary Covered Repair.

Any section of Your Line that is shared with any third party or is covered by a homeowners’, condominium or like association.

Repair or replacement of any sections or parts of Your Line that are not stated to be covered in “What is a Covered Repair?” or “What sections are covered?”.

Line exclusions:

Lines that are frozen.

Lines that branch off the primary Line.

Restoration exclusions:

  1. Replacement of any decorative paving, pathways or landscaping
    features.
  2. We cannot guarantee the survival of any living materials.
  3. Restoration that is not stated to be covered in “What restoration is
    included?”.

Service calls

What is a Service Call? A visit to Your Property by one of HomeServe’s approved technicians where
either work is performed to diagnose and complete a single Covered Repair
or it is determined that the repair is not covered (“Service Call”).

Do You have to pay anything for a Service Call? There is no fee to make a Service Call.

When can You request a Service Call? There is an initial period of 30 days during which You will not be able to request a Service Call (“Waiting Period”), giving You less than 12 full months
of coverage in the first Term. Upon renewal (if applicable), there will be no
Waiting Period.

How can You request a Service Call? Call HomeServe and a service representative will schedule a Service Call. You will not be reimbursed for work not authorized by HomeServe.

Technicians must have safe and clear access to, and safe working conditions at and around the work area. In order to make a Service Call Your Service Agreement must be active and You must be current with Your payment(s) of the amount You agree to pay for this Service Agreement, as listed on Your Declaration Page (“Price”). Whether Your Line is to be repaired or replaced is entirely within the discretion of HomeServe.

What is the Covered Repair Guarantee?

For 12 months, We will arrange at Our expense and choice for repair or replacement of Covered Repairs which are defective in materials or workmanship (“Covered Repair Guarantee”). We disclaim any and all
statutory or common law warranties (whether express or implied) other than the Covered Repair Guarantee and any implied warranties that cannot be excluded under applicable law.

Term, cancellation and renewal

When does this Service Agreement start and how long is it?

Your Service Agreement begins on the start date listed on Your Declaration Page (“Start Date”) and continues for 12 months (“Term”).

Can You cancel?

You may cancel at any time by either calling HomeServe or going online to
https://www.homeserveusa.com/cancel.

• If You cancel within 30 days of the Start Date, You will receive a full refund less any claims paid by Us.
• If You cancel more than 30 days after the Start Date, You will receive a pro-rata refund less any claims paid by Us.

• If Your local utility or municipality provides similar coverage to You at no charge and You cancel, We will refund the payments You have made less any claims paid by Us. You may be required to provide evidence of the similar coverage.

Can We cancel?

• We may cancel, with no less than 15 days’ notice to You:

(a) for nonpayment of the Price;

(b) if We find that You already have coverage that is the same or similar to the coverage provided by this Service Agreement;

(c) if We find that You are ineligible for this coverage; or

(d) for Your fraud or misrepresentation of facts that are material to this Service Agreement or benefits provided under it.

• We may cancel for any other reason on 60 days’ notice to You.

If We cancel for;

(a), no refund will be given.

If We cancel for (b) or (c), We will refund the payments You have made less any claims paid by Us.

In all other cases You will get a pro-rata refund less any claims paid by Us. You will be notified in writing prior to cancellation. The notice will tell You when Your Service Agreement will be cancelled and why it has been cancelled.

The notice period begins when We send the notice to You. Will this Service Agreement automatically renew?

Unless You tell Us otherwise, Your Service Agreement will automatically renew at the end of every Term for another 12 months at the then-current renewal price. We may change the price at renewal.

We reserve the right to not offer this Service Agreement upon renewal.

Other terms

How can You contact NHRW?

59 Maiden Lane, 43rd Floor, New York, NY 10038 • 1-877-382-7818

Receiving documents electronically If You consent to electronic delivery, You can receive Your Service
Agreement and all related documents to the email address listed on Your Declaration Page (“Email Address”). To update Your Email Address, or discontinue electronic delivery of Your documents You can call HomeServe or update Your preferences in Your website profile at www.homeserveusa.com.

Privacy policy
HomeServe is serious about the private nature of Your personal data. Please read their Privacy Policy, a link to which can be found at the bottom of every page at www.homeserveusa.com, carefully to fully understand how they collect, share, and protect personal data about You. You can also call HomeServe to request a copy.

Assignment/Amendment
We may assign this Service Agreement, in whole or in part, at any time without prior notice to You. We may change this Service Agreement (including the Price) and delegate any of Our obligations at Our sole
discretion and without Your consent provided We give You 30 days’ prior written notice of the changes. The changes will become effective 30 days after We send You the notice. You may not change this Service Agreement or delegate any of Your obligations. Transfer
You may not transfer this Service Agreement.


General
Should any of these terms and conditions conflict with the laws of Your state they shall be deemed amended so as to comply with those laws. Should certain terms or conditions be held to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms and conditions shall remain valid.


Responsibility for benefits owed to You
Our obligations under this Service Agreement are insured under a service contract reimbursement insurance policy. If We fail to pay or to deliver service on a claim within 60 days after proof of loss has been filed, or in the event You cancel and We fail to issue any applicable refund within 60 days after SC-NHRW1001-HRM 3 [xxxx] SC-NHRW1001-HRM-WSL-K192-050219 cancellation, You are entitled to make a claim against the insurer, Wesco Insurance Company at 59 Maiden Lane, 43rd Floor, New York, NY 10038, 1-866-505-4048.

Limits of liability
To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, (1) You agree that We and HomeServe, and both of Our respective parents, successors, affiliates, approved technicians and Our and their officers, directors,
employees, affiliates, agents, contractors or similar parties acting on behalf of either Us or HomeServe shall not be liable to You or anyone else for:

(a) any actual losses or direct damages that exceed the lowest applicable per repair benefit limit set out above relating to any repairs performed by Us, HomeServe or on behalf of either Us or HomeServe or services provided hereunder giving rise to such loss or damage; or

(b) any amount of any form of indirect, special, punitive, incidental or consequential losses or damages, damages based on anticipated or lost profits, wages, or revenue, or damages based on diminution in
value or a multiple of earnings, including those caused by any fault, failure, delay or defect in providing any repairs performed by Us, HomeServe or on behalf of either Us or HomeServe or services
provided under this Service Agreement, regardless of whether such damages were foreseeable and whether or not We or HomeServe or anyone acting on behalf of either Us or HomeServe have been advised of the possibility of such damages (the damages listed in clauses (a) and (b), collectively the “Excluded Damages”); and (2) these limitations and waivers shall apply to all claims and all liabilities and shall survive the cancellation or expiration of this Service Agreement. You may have other rights that vary from state to state. Arbitration: YOU, NHRW AND HOMESERVE ALL AGREE TO RESOLVE DISPUTES BY BINDING ARBITRATION as follows: A. ANY DISPUTE THAT ARISES OUT OF OR RELATES TO THIS
SERVICE AGREEMENT OR FROM ANY OTHER AGREEMENT BETWEEN US, OR SERVICES OR BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE OR CLAIM TO BE OWED FROM NHRW OR HOMESERVE, WILL BE RESOLVED BY ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. This arbitration agreement applies to disputes no matter when they arose,
including claims that arose before You and We entered into this Service Agreement. This arbitration agreement also applies to disputes involving the officers, directors, managers, employees, agents, affiliates, insurers, technicians, successors or assigns of NHRW or HomeServe. In addition, this arbitration agreement covers any claims or causes of action against NHRW or HomeServe that You may assign or subrogate to an insurer.

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) will administer the arbitration under its Consumer Arbitration Rules. The Federal Arbitration ct applies.

B. Any party bringing a claim may choose to bring an individual action in small claims court instead of arbitration, so long as the claim is pursued on an individual rather than a class-wide basis.

C. THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT DOES NOT PERMIT CLASS ACTIONS AND CLASS ARBITRATIONS. By entering into this Service Agreement, all parties are waiving their respective rights to a trial by jury
or to participate in a class or representative action. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE, OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL PROCEEDING. You may bring a claim only on Your own behalf and cannot seek relief that would affect other parties.

D. HomeServe will pay any filing fee, administration, service or case management fee, and arbitrator fee that the AAA charges You for arbitration of the dispute. E. IF FOR ANY REASON A CLAIM OR DISPUTE PROCEEDS IN COURT RATHER THAN THROUGH ARBITRATION, YOU, NHRW AND HOMESERVE UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY. This jury trial waiver also applies to claims asserted against any of the officers, directors, managers, employees, agents, affiliates, insurers,
technicians, approved technicians, successors or assigns of NHRW or HomeServe.

Eligibility: An owner of both a residential single structure permanently secured to the ground and the land it is located on may be eligible for coverage. You are not eligible if your property is used for commercial purposes; you know of any current problems with your exterior water service line before enrollment; or your entire exterior water service line is shared with a 3rd party or covered by a homeowners’ association or the like. In IA, properties with more than 4 dwelling units are not eligible.

Benefit Details: Coverage provides, up to the applicable benefit limit, to repair or replace an exterior water service line for which you have sole responsibility, from your property boundary or external wall of your well casing to the external wall of your home that is damaged due to normal wear and tear, not accident or negligence.

Not covered: Branch lines, frozen lines, and damage from accidents, negligence or otherwise caused by you, others or unusual circumstances. Additional exclusions apply. Disputes resolved by arbitration, without class action or jury trial, unless otherwise stated in your full Terms and Conditions.

Making a Service Call: Your plan starts the day your enrollment is processed. There is an initial 30-day waiting period before you can make a service call, providing 11 months of coverage during the first year. Upon renewal/reactivation (if applicable), there is no waiting period.
Cancellation: Cancel any time by calling HomeServe. If you cancel within 30 days of your start date, you will get a full refund (less claims paid, where applicable). Cancellations after the first 30 days will result in a pro-rata refund (less claims paid, where applicable).
Renewal: The plan is annual. Unless you cancel, your plan automatically renews annually at the then-current renewal price and is billed monthly through your utility bill.

Who should get this plan?


While it is totally plausible for any of us to have a main water line failure at any time, I’ll bet the odds are extremely low for actually needing this type of coverage on your home, unless you live in an old home. In Lousiville, we’re talking homes built from 1900 to-1960s. After the mid-1960s just about every home transitioned to copper water mains.

In modern homes, houses built after the mid-1960s, copper water mains have all but been replaced with PEX water mains here in Louisville, KY. The large flexible rolls those materials bring to the situation make it much easier to layout a jointless water main, and anytime you can remove elbows or joints, the more reliable the installation will be.



After 4000+ home inspections, I can only think of a handful of homes built within the last 40 years that needed to have the main water line replaced due to an active failure found during the home inspection. Most of you have either a copper or plastic main water line, both of which are very reliable products if installed correctly.

Note: Some homes in Old Louisville, The Highlands, Cresent Hill, etc do still have the old galvanized steel water pipes that are still in use as the main water feed for the home. This material is not reliable, and will eventually fail. If you have a steel water pipe, I believe it would be a good idea to sign up for the Exterior Water Lines Service option.

I wrote about old house plumbing systems in a previous post that will teach you all about the plumbing materials used in the past, and what kind of life expectancy you can reasonably expect from them.

galvanized steel water lines

Exterior Sewer/Septic Line Plus Coverage

This coverage plan will be used on the red line in the above image. All of the wastewater that leaves your home heads out to the sewer main where the good folks at Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) turn that nasty water clean again.

Although main potable water line failures are fairly rare, sewer line issues and failures are actually quite common in older homes. Some of these failures are just bad luck, but sometimes they are caused by ignorant choices by homeowners (flushing foreign objects town a toilet, for example).

The cost for this option is $9.99 a month according to Homeserve.

You can download a full copy of the terms and conditions for the EXTERIOR SEWER/SEPTIC LINE TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Who is eligible for this coverage?

Owners of:
• A single structure permanently secured to the ground (“Home”) and the
land it is located on (“Property”) that is used and zoned only for
residential occupancy, including:
a) Single-family homes
b) Townhomes
c) Multi-family homes
Who is not eligible for this coverage?
Owners of:
• Recreational vehicles or homes intended to be moved
• Properties used for commercial purposes
Properties that have:
• A Line with a pre-existing condition, defect or deficiency that You are
aware of prior to the Start Date of Your first Term
• An entire Line shared with a third party or that is covered by a
homeowner’s, condominium or like association
• A Line that has had roots removed prior to the Start Date of Your first
Term

You must call HomeServe for Covered Repairs. You are responsible for charges beyond Your Benefit Limit.

Under this Service Agreement, normal wear and tear of your line, as described below, is characterized by deterioration that occurs naturally over time resulting from standard use.

What is a Covered Repair?

Repair or replacement of the following, for which You have sole responsibility, that is damaged due to normal wear and tear:

You must call HomeServe for Covered Repairs. You are responsible for charges beyond Your Benefit Limit.
Under this Service Agreement, normal wear and tear of Your Line, as described below, is characterized by deterioration that occurs naturally over time resulting from standard use.

What is a Covered Repair?

Repair or replacement of the following for which You have sole responsibility, that is damaged due to normal wear and tear:

• A permanently blocked or leaking Line that takes wastewater from Your Home.
• Non-functioning grinder pumps that are part of Your Line.

What sections are covered?

• If connected to a sewer system: Your Line from the external wall of Your Home to Your Property boundary.
• If connected to a septic system: Your Line from the external wall of Your Home to the point of connection to Your septic tank on Your Property.

What is the maximum amount We will pay for Covered Repairs?

• Up to $10,000 per Term (“Benefit Limit”).
• Multiple Service Calls up to the Benefit Limit. See “What is a Service Call?” below.


What else does this Service Agreement provide?

• Reimbursement We approve in advance, up to $1,250 for reasonable hotel room and up to $500 for boarding of house pets per Covered Repair, if We cannot perform a Covered Repair within 24 hours of
notification and Your Line is unusable.


What restoration is included?

• Restoration to any area disturbed by the Covered Repair is limited to filling, raking, and reseeding of grass, reinstallation of existing soft landscaping and shrubbery, and patching of paved surfaces.
• Debris will be removed from the restoration area.

What is not covered?

General exclusions:

Damages, losses or expenses, whether from accident, negligence or otherwise, caused by: (a) You or any person or entity other than Us or HomeServe or (b) unusual circumstances, meaning a natural
disaster, act of God (such as fires, explosions, earthquakes, drought, tidal waves, extreme weather, and floods), war, riots, hostilities, strikes, work slowdowns, or acts or threats of terrorism.

Excluded Damages (see “Limits of liability”), for example damages necessary to access the repair area. Your rights and remedies may vary depending on the state where Your Property is located.

Correction of, or reimbursement for, any repairs or restorations made by You or anyone You hire.

Any correction, upgrade, or move of Your existing Line in order to meet any code, law, regulation, ordinance, if not directly related to the necessary Covered Repair.

Any section of Your Line that is shared with any third party or is covered by a homeowners’, condominium or like association.

Repair or replacement of any sections or parts of Your Line that are not stated to be covered in “What is a Covered Repair?” or “What sections are covered?”.

Line exclusions:

Non-conforming drain lines, meaning drain lines not directly connected to the public sewer system or Your septic tank.

Septic tanks or any other type of collection tank; leaching fields. Restoration exclusions:

Replacement of any decorative paving, pathways or landscaping features.

We cannot guarantee the survival of any living materials.

Restoration that is not stated to be covered in “What restoration is
included?”.

Service calls

What is a Service Call? A visit to Your Property by one of HomeServe’s approved technicians where
either work is performed to diagnose and complete a single Covered Repair
or it is determined that the repair is not covered (“Service Call”).

Do You have to pay anything for a Service Call? There is no fee to make a Service Call.

When can You request a Service Call? There is an initial period of 30 days during which You will not be able to request a Service Call (“Waiting Period”), giving You less than 12 full months
of coverage in the first Term. Upon renewal (if applicable), there will be no
Waiting Period.

How can You request a Service Call? Call HomeServe and a service representative will schedule a Service Call. You will not be reimbursed for work not authorized by HomeServe.

Technicians must have safe and clear access to, and safe working conditions at and around the work area. In order to make a Service Call Your Service Agreement must be active and You must be current with Your payment(s) of the amount You agree to pay for this Service Agreement, as listed on Your Declaration Page (“Price”). Whether Your Line is to be repaired or replaced is entirely within the discretion of HomeServe.

What is the Covered Repair Guarantee?

For 12 months, We will arrange at Our expense and choice for repair or replacement of Covered Repairs which are defective in materials or workmanship (“Covered Repair Guarantee”). We disclaim any and all
statutory or common law warranties (whether express or implied) other than the Covered Repair Guarantee and any implied warranties that cannot be excluded under applicable law.

Term, cancellation and renewal

When does this Service Agreement start and how long is it?

Your Service Agreement begins on the start date listed on Your Declaration Page (“Start Date”) and continues for 12 months (“Term”).

Can You cancel?

You may cancel at any time by either calling HomeServe or going online to
https://www.homeserveusa.com/cancel.

• If You cancel within 30 days of the Start Date, You will receive a full refund less any claims paid by Us.
• If You cancel more than 30 days after the Start Date, You will receive a pro-rata refund less any claims paid by Us.

• If Your local utility or municipality provides similar coverage to You at no charge and You cancel, We will refund the payments You have made less any claims paid by Us. You may be required to provide evidence of the similar coverage.

Can We cancel?

• We may cancel, with no less than 15 days’ notice to You:

(a) for nonpayment of the Price;

(b) if We find that You already have coverage that is the same or similar to the coverage provided by this Service Agreement;

(c) if We find that You are ineligible for this coverage; or

(d) for Your fraud or misrepresentation of facts that are material to this Service Agreement or benefits provided under it.

• We may cancel for any other reason on 60 days’ notice to You.

If We cancel for;

(a), no refund will be given.

If We cancel for (b) or (c), We will refund the payments You have made less any claims paid by Us.

In all other cases You will get a pro-rata refund less any claims paid by Us. You will be notified in writing prior to cancellation. The notice will tell You when Your Service Agreement will be cancelled and why it has been cancelled.

The notice period begins when We send the notice to You. Will this Service Agreement automatically renew?

Unless You tell Us otherwise, Your Service Agreement will automatically renew at the end of every Term for another 12 months at the then-current renewal price. We may change the price at renewal.

We reserve the right to not offer this Service Agreement upon renewal.

Other terms

How can You contact NHRW?

59 Maiden Lane, 43rd Floor, New York, NY 10038 • 1-877-382-7818

Receiving documents electronically If You consent to electronic delivery, You can receive Your Service
Agreement and all related documents to the email address listed on Your Declaration Page (“Email Address”). To update Your Email Address, or discontinue electronic delivery of Your documents You can call HomeServe or update Your preferences in Your website profile at www.homeserveusa.com.

Privacy policy
HomeServe is serious about the private nature of Your personal data. Please read their Privacy Policy, a link to which can be found at the bottom of every page at www.homeserveusa.com, carefully to fully understand how they collect, share, and protect personal data about You. You can also call HomeServe to request a copy.

Assignment/Amendment
We may assign this Service Agreement, in whole or in part, at any time without prior notice to You. We may change this Service Agreement (including the Price) and delegate any of Our obligations at Our sole
discretion and without Your consent provided We give You 30 days’ prior written notice of the changes. The changes will become effective 30 days after We send You the notice. You may not change this Service Agreement or delegate any of Your obligations. Transfer
You may not transfer this Service Agreement.


General
Should any of these terms and conditions conflict with the laws of Your state they shall be deemed amended so as to comply with those laws. Should certain terms or conditions be held to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms and conditions shall remain valid.


Responsibility for benefits owed to You
Our obligations under this Service Agreement are insured under a service contract reimbursement insurance policy. If We fail to pay or to deliver service on a claim within 60 days after proof of loss has been filed, or in the event You cancel and We fail to issue any applicable refund within 60 days after SC-NHRW1001-HRM 3 [xxxx] SC-NHRW1001-HRM-WSL-K192-050219 cancellation, You are entitled to make a claim against the insurer, Wesco Insurance Company at 59 Maiden Lane, 43rd Floor, New York, NY 10038, 1-866-505-4048.

Limits of liability
To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, (1) You agree that We and HomeServe, and both of Our respective parents, successors, affiliates, approved technicians and Our and their officers, directors,
employees, affiliates, agents, contractors or similar parties acting on behalf of either Us or HomeServe shall not be liable to You or anyone else for:

(a) any actual losses or direct damages that exceed the lowest applicable per repair benefit limit set out above relating to any repairs performed by Us, HomeServe or on behalf of either Us or HomeServe or services provided hereunder giving rise to such loss or damage; or

(b) any amount of any form of indirect, special, punitive, incidental or consequential losses or damages, damages based on anticipated or lost profits, wages, or revenue, or damages based on diminution in
value or a multiple of earnings, including those caused by any fault, failure, delay or defect in providing any repairs performed by Us, HomeServe or on behalf of either Us or HomeServe or services
provided under this Service Agreement, regardless of whether such damages were foreseeable and whether or not We or HomeServe or anyone acting on behalf of either Us or HomeServe have been advised of the possibility of such damages (the damages listed in clauses (a) and (b), collectively the “Excluded Damages”); and (2) these limitations and waivers shall apply to all claims and all liabilities and shall survive the cancellation or expiration of this Service Agreement. You may have other rights that vary from state to state. Arbitration: YOU, NHRW AND HOMESERVE ALL AGREE TO RESOLVE DISPUTES BY BINDING ARBITRATION as follows: A. ANY DISPUTE THAT ARISES OUT OF OR RELATES TO THIS
SERVICE AGREEMENT OR FROM ANY OTHER AGREEMENT BETWEEN US, OR SERVICES OR BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE OR CLAIM TO BE OWED FROM NHRW OR HOMESERVE, WILL BE RESOLVED BY ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. This arbitration agreement applies to disputes no matter when they arose,
including claims that arose before You and We entered into this Service Agreement. This arbitration agreement also applies to disputes involving the officers, directors, managers, employees, agents, affiliates, insurers, technicians, successors or assigns of NHRW or HomeServe. In addition, this arbitration agreement covers any claims or causes of action against NHRW or HomeServe that You may assign or subrogate to an insurer.

The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) will administer the arbitration under its Consumer Arbitration Rules. The Federal Arbitration ct applies.

B. Any party bringing a claim may choose to bring an individual action in small claims court instead of arbitration, so long as the claim is pursued on an individual rather than a class-wide basis.

C. THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT DOES NOT PERMIT CLASS ACTIONS AND CLASS ARBITRATIONS. By entering into this Service Agreement, all parties are waiving their respective rights to a trial by jury
or to participate in a class or representative action. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE, OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL PROCEEDING. You may bring a claim only on Your own behalf and cannot seek relief that would affect other parties.

D. HomeServe will pay any filing fee, administration, service or case management fee, and arbitrator fee that the AAA charges You for arbitration of the dispute. E. IF FOR ANY REASON A CLAIM OR DISPUTE PROCEEDS IN COURT RATHER THAN THROUGH ARBITRATION, YOU, NHRW AND HOMESERVE UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY. This jury trial waiver also applies to claims asserted against any of the officers, directors, managers, employees, agents, affiliates, insurers,
technicians, approved technicians, successors or assigns of NHRW or HomeServe.

Eligibility: An owner of both a residential single structure permanently secured to the ground and the land it is located on may be eligible for coverage. You are not eligible if your property is used for commercial purposes; you know of any current problems with your exterior water service line before enrollment; or your entire exterior water service line is shared with a 3rd party or covered by a homeowners’ association or the like. In IA, properties with more than 4 dwelling units are not eligible.

Benefit Details: Coverage provides, up to the applicable benefit limit, to repair or replace an exterior water service line for which you have sole responsibility, from your property boundary or external wall of your well casing to the external wall of your home that is damaged due to normal wear and tear, not accident or negligence.

Not covered: Branch lines, frozen lines, and damage from accidents, negligence or otherwise caused by you, others or unusual circumstances. Additional exclusions apply. Disputes resolved by arbitration, without class action or jury trial, unless otherwise stated in your full Terms and Conditions.

Making a Service Call: Your plan starts the day your enrollment is processed. There is an initial 30-day waiting period before you can make a service call, providing 11 months of coverage during the first year. Upon renewal/reactivation (if applicable), there is no waiting period.
Cancellation: Cancel any time by calling HomeServe. If you cancel within 30 days of your start date, you will get a full refund (less claims paid, where applicable). Cancellations after the first 30 days will result in a pro-rata refund (less claims paid, where applicable).
Renewal: The plan is annual. Unless you cancel, your plan automatically renews annually at the then-current renewal price and is billed monthly through your utility bill.

Who should get this plan?

Anyone who still has an old clay or cast iron waste line should sign up for this plan. This includes any of you living in a home built prior to the mid-1980s that haven’t already had your waste line replaced. The truth is, it is only a matter of time before these old materials give you trouble. And by trouble, I mean a backed-up sewer line.

After the 1980s, most builders switched over to PVC for all things sewage and waste. While it’s certainly not impossible for a failure or clog to occur in a modern PVC line, it is much less likely.

Note: If your home falls into this category be sure you look closely at where your main sewer line exits the home. A lot of builders did use all PVC inside the home but transitioned to cast iron waste lines as the pipe exits the foundation.

The most important thing to understand about old waste lines is that most, if not all of them will eventually have to be replaced. And, a failure in a waste line may not always show up with your home inspection.

While your inspector should do everything he/she can to find these types of problems, it’s not feasible to think that they will always surface during the inspection.

The image below was taken during a sewer line camera scope. At 167 feet, tree roots were found growing into a crack in the pipe.

This is the exact type of failure the Exterior Sewer Line program will help you with it. It’s also important to note that no amount of clean water running through this pipe would ever cause this line to back up. The obstruction would need the mixture of solids and paper to really cause a problem.

Failed-Clay-Sewer-Pipes-From-Tree-Roots

Clogged Waste Line at a Home Inspection

Early on in my home inspection career, I was in J-town performing an inspection on a vacant house. I like to run a lot of water at my inspections, so if I am within earshot of a faucet or tub, I have the water on.

The reason I do this is because leaks in the plumbing system sometimes take a long time to manifest, and I want to give myself the best chance at catching these problems for my clients.

After performing my typical 4-5 hour inspection and not finding anything unusual with the plumbing system besides the typical drip leak under the bathroom sink, I packed up my tools up to head out. I went through my walkout routine to check the lights and lock the doors.

Boom. Nature called.

I slipped into the bathroom before heading out. I handled my business and flushed the toilet.

I turned to leave and saw water backing up in the bathtub as the water in the toilet tried to go down.

Ruh-Roh Raggy.

After a few seconds to process what I was seeing, I turn back to see that the toilet was starting to overflow.

S&%Y! I swung into action and popped the lid off of the toilet tank to push the flapper back down. Pro tip: Remember, the flapper is what sends the water into the bowl to flush the toilet. If you stop the water flow from the tank, the bowl will stop filling, or in this case, not overflow.

A minute or so later the water in the bowl started to recede, and I could hear the tub perking (bubbling) as the water started to slowly go back down the drain.

Bullett dodged.

I ran back downstairs to shut the main water line off. I didn’t want anyone else coming in behind me and causing a mess.

I put in a call to the listing agent to let her know the scoop. She thanked me for saving the home from extensive water damage and told me they would get a plumber out asap to assess things.

A week later the buyer called to thank me for such a thorough job and for uncovering the clogged sewer main. It turns out that tree roots had partially clogged the cast iron waste line about 200ft from the house.

And my running water for all that time caused the waste line to fill up and eventually back up into the house.

Had I not had to use the head as I was walking out the door, I would have never caught it. I was one toilet flush away from telling this guy I didn’t experience any problems with his waste line.

I think about that experience weekly, and that was over 12 years ago. Now, when I am in an old home with a cast iron waste line I think to myself: did you run enough water? Maybe one more flush…

The worst part is that there is no right answer here. It is impossible to know if you have run enough water to catch a failure like that. Even waste lines that have tree roots or a partial clog will allow some water to pass through. Very few are clogged 100%.

Overview

So, should you sign up and give the Louisville Water Co and Homeserve your hard-earned money? My answer is still…maybe.

If you live in an area of town where there are still old plumbing systems like Old Louisville, The Highlands, Butchertown, Shelby Park, Cresent Hill, Cherokee Triangle, Shively, PRP, etc. then I still say its a good idea.

If you live in a newer neighborhood, one built in the last 40 years or so, then I think you have much less chance of a problem. My home is about 20 years old, and I do not have any of these service plans.

Frequently asked questions

Any single-family or multi-family building that is not used for commercial purposes can sign up.

This program is designed for anyone who doesn’t want to be self-insured for the potential cost of repairing an underground water line, like your sewer main or potable water main.

The monthly cost for the program ranges from $5.49 for the potable water line and $9.99 for the sewer line.

Each program has a maximum benefit payout.

The main water line is up to $7,000 per Term (“Benefit Limit”).

The sewer/septic line is up to $10,000 per Term (“Benefit Limit”).

According to Homeserve, a regular “long-term rental” is available for coverage, but short-term properties like those used with AirB&B and VBRO are NOT available for this program.

Homeserve-AirB&B

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting as always. You inspected my house and I had a problem a few months later with the main sewage line. But it was past my property line where the tree was and it was the water company’s responsibility. I ended up not having to pay after they checked it out and fixed it for me.

    1. Hey Rakesh! I am sorry to hear about your trouble, but it’s great to hear you didn’t have to pay for it. Sewer lines are hard to back up unless there is a serious clog close to the house. As you well know, a few hours of a sink and shower running may not allow things to manifest. Thanks for keeping in touch!