19 Aug 2014
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City Cautions Homeowners About Utilities Insurance

Several companies have recently offered Evanston homeowners insurance for water and sewer service lines. The city issued a press release reminding homeowners of their responsibilities.

City Cautions Homeowners About Utilities Insurance City Cautions Homeowners About Utilities Insurance

What follows is a press release from the city of Evanston:

Recently, several companies have been offering area property owners water and sewer service line insurance. The City of Evanston’s Utilities Department would like to remind property owners that these companies do not represent the city, that they are not affiliated with the City of Evanston, nor does the city endorse any particular company because water and sewer service lines are considered private plumbing. The Utilities Department does want to remind property owners to use caution before potentially purchasing these products.

As with any insurance or warranty program, individuals should do their own due diligence to check the company’s reputation and references and to confirm covered services and exclusions. For example, residential dwellings of a certain type or size may be excluded, full service line replacement may not be covered or customers may be limited to a certain number of claims per year. 

The Utilities Department reminds property owners that they are responsible for all parts of water and sewer service lines from the city-maintained portion of the systems all the way into their properties. The department outlines owners’ specific responsibilities and offers these useful facts:

Unless an owner has records of repair or replacement of their service lines, it is best to assume that the lines are the same age as the building to which they are connected. 

It is estimated that service line repairs and replacements can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. A licensed plumber can give a general estimate of what some typical repairs or full replacements might cost based on specific conditions on the property.

Water service lines: 

  • Property owners are responsible for maintaining their water service lines between the water service shut-off valve (located in the parkway) and the building, including all plumbing inside the.  Click here for larger view of water service diagram>>>.
  • There were 10 permit applications for private water service line repairs issued in 2011, which represents about 0.1% of the approximately 14,400 water services in the city.
  • The average work value that was noted on water service line repair permit applications was $3,300 in 2011.

Sewer service lines:

  • Property owners are responsible for maintaining their sewer service lines between the city’s mainline sewer in the center of the street and the building, including the connection to the mainline sewer and the service piping running under the street, sidewalk, private property and all plumbing inside the building.  Click here for larger view of sewer service diagram>>>.
  • There were 135 permit applications for private sewer service line repairs issued in 2011, which represents about 1% of the approximately 14,400 sewer services in the city.
  • The average work value that was noted on water service line repair permit applications was $3,500 in 2011.

If property owners have any questions, they can call 3-1-1 or visit  www.cityofevanston.org/utilities for more information.

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