"Big Blue" Insurance

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by themp, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. themp

    themp New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    NC
    In my neighborhood the water line to our homes were plumbed with polybutylene piping, Big Blue, as they call it. In the last six months two neighbors have had to do a complete replacement of the water line. Our homes are around 25 years old.

    Our local gas company just sent out a notice offering insurance for water line breaks and repairs. Here is the link:

    http://www.psncenergy.com/en/residential-services/services/repair-program/water-line-plan/

    I am leaning towards signing up for this plan. Any comments or experience for this type of plan?

    Thanks, Tom
  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    ". . .provides coverage for the repair or replacement of a water line that has failed due to normal wear and tear."
    Does this cover possible design defects in Big Blue?

    Anyone else have failures in the previous 25 yrs?
    How many homes in your neighborhood?
  3. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    it's nasty stuff. get it replaced
  4. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Insurance is like gambling...

    The insurance company is setting their rates and in a sense the odds in their favor towards making a healthy profit.

    You the homeowner being offered the insurance knows that you may pay for years on a policy for something that may never happen and could end up paying many times over what the work would cost.

    The fact that several of the neighbors have already had favors tips the odds towards it being more likely that you will have a claim...

    I'm not Jimmy The Greek so I'm not giving figures on the odds.

    You may be the only one in your neighbor hood that never has a problem or, you may be the next one...

    Make your choice!
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    ". . .the realistic lifespan of polybutylene piping is just 15 years. "
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    It is a judgement call on your part. $70.00 a year is cheap insurance IF your pipe is going to fail, especially if it happens soon.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There is such a thing as peace-of-mind insurance, and I believe this is such a case....worth the bucks.

    For many years, my parents RENTED their water heater from Essex County Gas Company. Now, over the 10 to 12 year typical life span, did they pay more than what it would cost to buy a unit and have it installed? YES. Did the gas company replace it WITHIN THE HOUR each time it was necessary over those many many years...YES>>>>PRICELESS for an elderly couple.
  9. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    If an insurance company knows the risk, and they should certainly know it by now,
    for a one time premium they have to charge the [replacement price x The Risk] + admin costs.

    They know The Risk to several decimal places; we don't.

    For a monthly premium they have to charge a payment that amortizes the costs above.

    It's usually better to self insure; you at least save their admin costs.

    But no matter if their number comes up, they don't have to pay if they don't want to [remember Katrina?].

    http://www.federaltimes.com/index.php?S=4326356
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  10. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    That would be my concern. The insurance company doesn't pay because they feel it's a manufacturing defect and instruct the homeowner to go after the mfr. for the cost, that's worked out real well for the CPI/Nibco cases. :rolleyes:
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    The insurance company is calculating how many water lines will NOT have to be replaced also. These are the ones that cover the losses for the ones that do. And every year that they do not have to replace YOURS, they have gotten a partial investment against the time when, or if, yours goes bad. Obviously, at $1,000 maximum for the "restoration costs" they would have collect for 50 years to break even, if EVERY house had to pay its own way, which is not going to happen.
  12. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Messages:
    1,317
    Location:
    SW Florida
    How far is your house from the meter?
    Is it a straight line?
    Do you have any concrete between the house and meter?
    Do you have any mature trees between the house and the meter?
    Do you know how deep the existing line is plumbed?
  13. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  14. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    $70/year and your water main is already 25 years old? That's CHEAP!!!! I don't know about your area but up in these parts you're probably looking at close to $2000 to dig up/replace a water main. That's roughly ~30 years of insurance payments.

    If your water main lasts another 30 years I'd be shocked, especially if it's poly b.
  15. themp

    themp New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    NC
    I decided to do it. I did have some sewer problems a while back and when the plumber dug down to the sewer line around 3 feet down he found the blue poly water line running next to the sewer line. He wanted to replace it then, but I was short on cash. He actually showed me that he only had a few used fittings left for blue poly in the event he had to patch the line. He recommended replacing the whole thing with Pex. So, I am curious if I do get a failure if they patch it or decide to replace it. Another plumber I talked to said you cannot patch it anymore, not sure if that was true.

    Tom
  16. Fubar411

    Fubar411 New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    Without going into specifics, I have worked for an insurance company.

    I would not depend on them to give you a blank check in case of an issue. Most likely, they will only pay to get the system back to the condition it once was in, then might decide to not renew your policy.
  17. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
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