Dear Ask the Lawyer:
I have a question about plumbing. It’s a legal question, not a water question.
About two to three times a year, I receive a letter from the local water company. The company is trying to sell insurance on the drain pipe going out of my house into the street. For a rather small amount of money, the company tells me that if my soil pipe breaks, they will come and repair it for free.
Do you think this is good insurance? Should I buy it?
As I have said before, there is only one kind of insurance you know will pay off. That is life insurance. If you buy life insurance, you will die. If you don’t buy life insurance, you will die.
Now, once we get past life insurance, everything else is a gamble.
Fixing a soil pipe from your house to the street can be a very expensive project. There are many variables, including the length of the pipe from your house to the street, how much lawn and sidewalk have to be dug up, the location of the pipe in your basement, etc.
Like any other insurance, except life insurance, you have to decide whether you want to self-insure the risk or buy insurance protection.
If you don’t purchase the insurance and your soil pipe breaks, you could be in for a large bill, which can easily be several thousand dollars.
On the other hand, you can’t make yourself “insurance poor.” In other words, you financially can’t insure every possible risk in the world.
I have seen the advertisements you are talking about. The cost of the insurance is really low. This obviously means that most soil pipes don’t break.
However, if you live in an old house, if you have concerns with the plumbing, if your neighbors had soil pipe problems, if you are not a risk taker, then perhaps this insurance is for you.
Stewart J. Berger is an attorney with offices at 7207 Rising Sun Ave. Questions and comments may be addressed to Ask The Lawyer, c/o The Northeast Times, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053EndFragment