U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,743 posts, read 8,452,295 times
Reputation: 17080
Default Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Insurance

I got my PWSA bill yesterday, and there was a letter inside stating that from now on, $5 will be added into each month's bill to pay for sewer line insurance. There was also an opt-out form included. Anybody else get this? On one hand, it sounds like a good idea, but one the other, that it's something you have to opt-out of rather than opt-into feels kind of shady.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Unread 01-29-2010, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
479 posts, read 520,654 times
Reputation: 214
I got the same thing - I'm hoping someone can chime in and explain it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Swisshelm Park
413 posts, read 362,681 times
Reputation: 212
There is an announcement about it in the PWSA December newsletter, so it appears to be legitimate. http://www.pgh2o.com/docs/newsletter...Newsletter.pdf
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,300 posts, read 1,104,393 times
Reputation: 759
Yeah that surprised me as well. Though, I've been meaning to look into a plan for that (I've received some offers from Columbia Gas and other vendors in the past) so I guess it's a good thing for me. $5/mo. for coverage of the outdoor sewer and water lines is, I think, better than any other offer I've seen, does anyone know if we can do better?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 11:57 AM
 
40 posts, read 53,503 times
Reputation: 19
Pittsburgh City Councilman Dowd explained this recently at a Morningside Area Citizens Council meeting. The infrastructure in this city is old and crumbling, and sewer line failure is very common. It can cost $10,000-$20,000 to replace the line from your house to the main and many Pittsburghers have a difficult time coming up with that kind of money on short notice. This program means that PWSA customers will no longer have to pay that expense if they are in the program.

It started as an opt-in program, but hardly anyone did so since no one seems to actually read their bill. So in order for the program to pay for itself PWSA had to make it opt-out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,743 posts, read 8,452,295 times
Reputation: 17080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinare View Post
Yeah that surprised me as well. Though, I've been meaning to look into a plan for that (I've received some offers from Columbia Gas and other vendors in the past) so I guess it's a good thing for me. $5/mo. for coverage of the outdoor sewer and water lines is, I think, better than any other offer I've seen, does anyone know if we can do better?
That's kind of what I was wondering--is this a good price? Is this company reputable? That sort of thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Just East of the Southern Portion of the Western Part of PA
1,031 posts, read 1,756,143 times
Reputation: 971
I had to replace my sewer pipe from the downstairs toilet the whole way to the street. 2 days and $15,000 later 'til the bad stuff was flowin' downhill again.

My house was on the more expensive side because I had to dig up my concrete floor in the basement and my front yard is around 50 feet from the street.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 12:37 PM
 
2,990 posts, read 4,632,953 times
Reputation: 1797
Quote:
Originally Posted by onwardandupward View Post
I'm hoping someone can chime in and explain it.
I would call it a "rate increase" personally. Especially with what was on page 8 of the linked newsletter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,865 posts, read 7,545,392 times
Reputation: 4544
The lines between the street and your house that run through your yard are your responsibility, not the utility's. They are also typically exceptions to your homeowner's policy, at least the sewer line is. I remember distinctly my insurance agent explaining how anything that comes back up through the sewer line is not covered, let alone the line itself.

That may be something to clarify, if this insurance covers damage from a sewer backup as well as damage to the line itself. You can also get a quote for this kind of coverage from your homeowner's provider just to make sure that's a good deal, but 60 bucks a year is probably a good deal. Or you can opt out and take the risk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 01-29-2010, 05:45 PM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
1,983 posts, read 1,677,529 times
Reputation: 1448
Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
I would call it a "rate increase" personally. Especially with what was on page 8 of the linked newsletter.
It seems to me that what you read on page 8 had to do with preventing more of what you saw on pages 3-7. The insurance program has to do with property owner's possible expenses for their connections to the city's mains. That's an entirely different thing.

I'd be interested in knowing how claims are to be administered.

You're all familiar with companies that advertise their "free" sewer camera services. A plumber friend of mine is of the opinion that almost any sewer that's televised will show some defect sufficient to convince the homeowner that replacement is called for. (I put that in italics because that's not the same thing as a sewer that actually requires immediate replacement.)

If a plumber convinces a homeowner to replace a sewer, does somebody detremine in advance whether the claim is valid or not? Can the insurer deny the claim, leaving the homeowner on the hook for the repair? If there's no prior oversight by the insurer, will they be taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous plumbers who convince homeowners that they may as well replace their sewers, since it's essentially "free" to them? What's to keep prices for repair jobs on par with similar repairs done in localities outside the city?

Lots of questions....

Quote:
...but 60 bucks a year is probably a good deal....
If you figure that it'll take you 200 years to pay premiums equal to one $12,000 repair, yeah, it is a good deal...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $74,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top