Washington Department of Health Newsletter - The Water Tap - March 2010
National Water Company Article pg. 14-15
Company offers warranty coverage and water conservation (Yakima,WA)
By DENISE KELLER
Most homeowners know that a broken pipe can be messy, inconvenient and expensive.
However, not everyone realizes that the repair of certain pipes is not covered by most homeowners insurance.
According to Tracy Jewett, a Selah-based account representative with National Water Company, 98 percent of homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for the repair of lateral water and sewer lines - the pipes that extend from the city connection to the home.
The company provides insurance-backed warranty coverage for lateral water and sewer lines.
Pipes and fittings are starting to wear out and break.
Pipes - even new ones - can fail as a result of poor installation, invasive tree roots, ground shifting, soil conditions or seasonal changes. Depending on the severity of the damage, homeowners may experience anything from a slight increase in their water bill to a flooded lawn.
“As a homeowner, if this happens to you, you’re going to be irate,” he says.
“You’re going to call the city and they’re going to say, ‘Sorry, we don’t cover that. That’s private.’ And then you’re going to call your homeowners agent, and your homeowners agent is going to say, ‘Nope, that’s an exclusion. That’s a line that’s not covered.’”
National Water Company sells water line coverage starting at $3.99 a month and a premium package covering both water and sewer lines for $95 a year, Jewett says.
The company is working to appoint local insurance brokers to sell the coverage. Elliott Insurance Services is the first agency in Yakima to partner with National Water Company.
Jewett and colleagues are introducing the company to city officials and asking them to inform residential customers that the lateral service lines are the responsibility of the homeowner.
“The small picture right now is the water and sewer line coverage, the peace of mind for this major catastrophe that could happen ,” Jewett says. “The big picture is water conservation.”
According to Jewett, National Water Company can help city governments meet state and federal mandates requiring water conservation. He says a large portion of a city’s water leakage takes place on the private side of the meter.
“Sometimes it’s cost prohibitive for people to fix their water line because with a tiny, little leak in your water line, your bill only goes up $3 a month. You’re not really concerned about it because you know it’s going to be $2,000 to get a backhoe in there to dig this line up,” Jewett says, adding that his company’s warranty coverage allows homeowners to have lines repaired without paying a deductible.
For every leaky pipe fixed, National Water Company will give the city a report of the estimated amount of water that will be saved because of the repair.
“It’s going to benefit the city because now they look proactive in water conservation efforts,” Jewett says. For more information, contact Jewett at 969-0207.