WATER WORKS: H2O Service Line Insurance Plan

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The connector is the line of demarcation, so to speak if there are problems with your water service line.

"From that connection all the way to your house, including what's called a stop box... you own," says Des Moines Water Works CEO, Bill Stowe.

That means if your water service line breaks, you pay for it.  And digging into your front yard to repair it can leave a big hole in your wallet.

"We're talking about a repair that's not atypical for it to be thousands of dollars," says Stowe.

In the past, if a homeowner couldn't afford to fix the service line, Des Moines Water Works stepped in and assessed the homeowner the cost of the repairs.  Now, for $4 a month, homeowners can insure their service line, just like you'd insure your car.

Stowe says homes built prior to 1940 are at significant risk of failure, "But we've seen failure in housing stock that is a lot newer."

Des Moines Water Works is offering the program in conjunction with a company called HomeServe, which will provide licensed plumbing contractors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The program is voluntary, and like any insurance, it's anyone guess if it will pay off.

"People are going to need to think about it, talk with professionals and decide whether they're willing to hedge that risk for four dollars a month," says Stowe.

Des Moines Water Works Customers can enroll in the program by calling 283-8700 or by logging on to the Water Works website.