Evanston city officials say several companies — that are not in any way affiliated with the ciy — have recenly been offering water and sewer line insurance to local residents.

So, what are the chances you might collect on a claim if you bought such insurance?

The city’s Utilities Department says only 10 permits were issued last year for water line replacements and 135 for sewer line repairs for private homes in Evanston — which has about 14,400 sewer and water line connections.

So that’s one chance in a thousand that you might need your water line replaced in a year, and one change in a hundred for the sewer line.

A repair can cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The average last year, based on city permit records, was about $3,500.

Utilities Department officials suggest property owners should use caution before purchasing sewer and water line insurance and check the company’s reputation and references and to confirm covered services and exclusions.

For example, residential dwellings of a certain type or size may be excluded, full service line replacement may not be covered or customers may be limited to a certain number of claims per year.

Property owners are responsible for all parts of water and sewer service lines from the city-maintained portion of the systems all the way into their properties.

Top: A diagram of a typical water service. All the portions in red are the responsibility of the property owner to maintain.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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