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Our office had a couple of interesting conversations regarding digging up yards recently. In one instance, the husband of one of our account managers started to dig up someone’s yard to help them replace sewer lines. To his surprise, when his backhoe started to dig, not only did he bring up a bunch of soil… he brought up a bunch of mason jars with money stored in them! As it turns out, the person who owned the property was a third-generation family member to live at the residence. Apparently, his grandparents had buried the jars decades beforehand and he had no idea that thousands of dollars were underneath his back yard.

In another instance (which unfortunately isn’t as exciting), I had a phone conversation with a new business prospect who advised me that his home’s drainage system had been replaced a few years ago due to a partial collapse. He didn’t even think about claiming it with his homeowner insurance carrier at the time because it wasn’t even a coverage option.

While the two conversations were quite different, they did have one thing in common: the replacement of utility service lines. The insurance industry – including Central Insurance Companies – is now starting to offer coverage for certain underground piping and waiting on the insured property you are responsible for damage due to covered perils including wear and tear, deterioration, hidden decay, rust, and corrosion to name a few. These types of losses can easily cost a homeowner $5,000 – $10,000 (or more) in the event of a problem, so a small additional premium (typically around $25 per year) can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to foot the entire bill.

This endorsement to your homeowner insurance policy will provide coverage for the damage to the affected utility line and can also cover excavation costs, green environment, safety and efficiency improvements, repair costs, and even outdoor property, such as trees, shrubs, plants, lawns, walkways and driveways that are damaged due to a covered loss involving utility line covered property.

So, do yourself a favor and strengthen your homeowner insurance program with a valuable coverage that wasn’t even around a few years ago. Who knows – in the event of a claim, you might even find a few mason jars buried in your yard to help you cover the additional premium cost!

The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.

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