Phoenix contemplates mandatory water line insurance | News

It’s the last thing a Phoenix homeowner may think about but when it happens, a broken water or sewer line can create an expensive nightmare.

That’s why Phoenix and a National League of Cities joined the Service Line Warranties of America by HomeServe in a partnership “to educate property owners about their service line responsibilities and to help residents avoid out-of-pocket expenses for unanticipated and potentially costly service line repairs and replacements,” according to a memo to Phoenix City Council from by Deputy City Manager Ginger Spencer.

Calling Phoenix “one of the program’s early adopters,” Spencer noted that the city is now one of 1,000 municipalities and utilities participating in the program nationwide.”

While the program has been voluntary for single-family homeowners, the department is asking the council to consider making it mandatory.

Single-family and other homeowners are responsible to pay for repairs and replacements of broken lines between the city water meter and their home.

The voluntary insurance covers two kinds of breaks under two separate policies whose policy cost is tackled onto their monthly bill from the Water Services Department.

For $7.95 a month, they can cover damage to their water line up to $8,500 per claim. There is no limit on the number of claims that can be filed in any given year — though only one break can be covered per claim and no more than $8,500 worth of repairs would be covered.

The same claims restriction exist for the policy covering septic and sewer line breaks between a meter and the home. That policy costs another $9.45 per month.

According to Spencer, the city’s 10-year partnership with the insurer to date has generated $3 million in revenue for the city and covered $7.4 million worth of repairs totaling 13,461. A total of 27,324 homeowners participate in the program.

In suggesting that Council may want to consider making the policy mandatory for all Water Services customers, Spencer said HomeServe has created two new programs “that would provide water and sewer line coverage for all Phoenix homes in the event of a water or sewer line emergency instead of the current opt-in program.

“HomeServe also offers a Water Leak Adjustment Program for Phoenix residential customers that would cover actual water leaks in addition to water and sewer line repairs,” she added. “This would require participation by all Phoenix single-family residential customers. Both programs can be explored further and considered as future partnership opportunities.”

The programs were scheduled to be discussed at a Feb. 1 meeting of the council’s Community and Cultural Investment Subcommittee but immediate action is not considered likely.

Meanwhile, homeowners interested in signing up for the voluntary program can go to or call 1-844-257-8795. Additionally, residents can enroll by sending in the enrollment form that comes in the information letters that SLWA sends to Phoenix homeowners periodically.

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