Catherine Ross, Plano Reporter
Plano is considering a utilities insurance program that would allow homeowners to insure their sewer and water lines.
The city of Plano is looking at a public-private partnership that would offer utility line protection to its citizens -- as well as make a profit.
Some cities cover the pipe connections, but others do not. Homeowners in cities that do not are liable for the line of pipe that runs from their front door to the street.
Repairs can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and often are not covered by homeowners insurance.
Plano is considering a partnership with Utility Service Partners, a company that offers warranty coverage for utility pies.
Service for both water and sewer would cost about $125 per year.
Other North Texas cities, such as Waxahachie, have had some success with the program.
The participating cities see between 13 and 18 percent of residents on average sign up for coverage, Plano Assistant City Manager Mark Israelson said.
“There is the potential for an alternative revenue source, as well,” he said.
The city of Plano is quoted to make about $11 per customer per year for the use of its name and logo in the service’s marketing.
Israelson said the revenue would be a welcome extra resource toward providing city services.
The proposal is still under consideration, and no contracts have been signed.
There is the potential for major damage to sewer and water lines because of an aging inventory of homes and the historic drought. Israelson said the deterioration of materials is the No. 1 concern, but trees are also an issue.
People don't necessarily think about the exterior infrastructure when they renovate their home’s interior, he said.