Service Line Insurance Program Could Save Homeowners Thousands

It's a problem that seems as familiar as pot holes: water line breaks.

And now Sioux City is looking at a way to help homeowners better deal with them.

Monday afternoon the City Council heard a presentation on what would be an insurance program that could help homeowners avoid the expensive cost of repairs.

Siouxland News Reporter Beairshelle Edmé explains the ins and outs of the program.

The city maintains water and sewer lines and when they break homeowners pay to repair them that's how it's always been.

But this new insurance program could change that .

This winter's harsh conditions have left several homeowners with broken service lines and frozen pipes that's why city officials say it's time to look at an insurance program.

"What this is doing and allowing is that the City is investigating options whether it be through a self-insurance program or through some commercially provided warranties um, that would help homeowners that have these issues uh try to be able -- to not be hit with the big costs," said Public Works Director Jade Dundas.

Although several outside options already exist, the city believes this program would be different.

"If we don't provide it or if its commercially provided, it'd be up to--- we'd envision a program where it's up to the individual homeowner; you would; you wouldn't have to carry that insurance if - or warranty if you didn't want to but if the city provides the service, um, we would definitely have to consider applying those costs across the entire, all of the users," explained Dundas.

The Public Works Department estimates that it would cost $500,000 annually to maintain the program.

Taxpayers would automatically see an added $5 to $8 dollars to their utility bills every month.

And with 50 residential breaks this past winter alone, city officials said the program would be beneficial and spare homeowners from thousands of dollars in repairs costs.

Three different companies are offering their services should the City Council approve this insurance program.

HomeServe USA is one of those companies and already serves the Sioux City area.

If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about OR
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