Birmingham Water Works teams up with HomeServe USA

It's a homeowner's nightmare. Something happens to the water service line between the street and your house. It is your responsibility to get it fixed, sometimes at a cost of thousands of dollars. Odds are pretty good your homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover it.

Birmingham Water Works customers are being offered a type of coverage that would take care of these emergencies. This is optional coverage but the sign up time is now. From now through the first week in April, customers can enroll in water service line coverage. It costs about five dollars per month. And should a homeowner have a water problem, the plan will pay up $10,000 dollars annually for repairs.

"What a lot of homeowners don't know is the fact that external line that runs outside of their home, they are solely responsible for it. So if something were to happen, they are the ones to pick up the tab. And a lot of times that could be thousands of dollars that you have to pay out of your pocket," said Rick Jackson, Birmingham Water Works Board spokesperson.

Jackson says the board wants to take some of that burden off customers. The board has teamed up with HomeServe USA to provide policies to cover damage that happens to the line between the board's water main and a{} homeowner's house.

"We've researched. We've spent two years researching this and we've compared it with other cities have done this such as des Moines Iowa and Louisville Kentucky and it has gone very well.

Joe Fuller is president of stead and fuller insurance. He says homeowners need to be aware of what homeowner's insurance does and does not cover. "Homeowners insurance won't cover any damage to that pipe. You homeowners insurance covers damage that the water does from a burst pipe. But it does not cover fixing he pipe," said Fuller.

Jackson says 500 people have already signed up the service. And the board had taken some 1,500 additional calls from people wanting to know more about it.