A backup or a break in your water or sewer line could cost thousands of dollars to repair. From my perspective, it could also wreak havoc on real estate negotiations, which is why I was happy to learn that water and sewer warranty coverage has recently been made available to KCMO residents. I suggest you sign up if this is available to you. The warranty company that Kansas City, MO has contracted with is called Service Line Warranties of America, and they also service other parts of our metro area such as Johnson County. For KCMO residents, water line coverage is $61/year, and water/sewer line coverage is $120/year.
I called the company to ask a few questions about placing a claim. If you discover a break in your line, leak, backup or some variation, then you can place a call to the warranty company and a local, licensed plumber will be dispatched to evaluate the problem, determine whether it is covered under your policy, and if so, perform the repair. If he or she determines that the break was a “pre-existing condition”, then it may not be covered.
So what if you don’t have a backup or leak, but you discover that your line has a break as part of a real estate inspection? Luckily it can still be covered. You don’t actually have to have raw sewage in your basement to place a claim; a failed sewer-line inspection is a valid reason to place a claim.
This made me wonder – what is the difference between insurance and warranties? Your homeowner’s insurance is hazard insurance, and covers items damaged in fires, by water, by wind or other covered events such as theft. A home warranty repairs or replaces systems or appliances in your home that break down from normal wear and tear. Warranties are contracts governing repair and/or replacement of an item in the event of damage resulting from ordinary use or faulty workmanship. They are governed by different regulations. Be sure to read your warranty contract thoroughly before signing up, and educate yourself about what is covered, and what is not covered such as pre-existing conditions, and if there is a 30-day waiting period before your coverage kicks in.