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Waterline insurance now being offered in Houston

Monday, July 08, 2013

A water leak can be a costly problem. If you don't catch it in time you may be forced to pay the city hundreds of dollars. But there is a way to protect yourself.

You have insurance to cover your home but many policies offer no protection for the outside pipes.

Dorothy Luke is not able to get around much, so when her caretaker eventually noticed a water leak around her water meter, it was no small problem.

"And we could not cut it off because the ditch was full of water," Luke said.

Luke was told the leak was on her side of the meter, and because of that, she would have to pay for the water and the repair. The costs topped $1,500.

Fortunately, Luke did not have to come up with any money because she purchased water leak insurance four months earlier.

"It's a big relief, a great big relief because my only check is $787 a month," Luke said.

The insurance plans have been approved by the city of Houston, and residents are getting the fliers touting the service right now.

"We cover the entire line, from the foundation out to the main," said Larry Byrne with HomeServe, one of the companies the city of Houston is allowing to sell water leak insurance.

The cost is less than $10 a month.

"If there is any type of crack in the line, or collapsed sewer line, or clogged sewer line, or just even loss in pressure," Byrne said.

Local contractors like Jason Griffin do the work, without a protection plan he says the costs of some repairs are staggering.

"It's still a shell shock for most people on what it actually costs," Griffin said.

It's an expense Luke did not have to worry about.

The policies vary, but $5 a month buys you $7,000 in annual coverage.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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