About half a year ago, as I well remember, I received an order from the owner of the aforementioned house to appraise the value of his property.
After seeing the old cast iron pipes in the basement, I realized, among other things, that the structure of the building probably came from the 1950s because quarry stones were still used in the basement.
The cast iron pipes installed there were from the same year of construction. When I see things like that, I always think of the sewage damage in my parents’ house. Therefore, I strongly recommend all homeowners to additionally insure their sewer pipes outside the house to the property line if the pipes are more than 50 years old.
Why do I recommend this approach? For this the story.
My parents’ house was built in 1946 with the rubble of my grandparents’ property. Cast iron pipes were used for sewage pipes until the 1960s and 1970s. These cast iron pipes can break down over a period of about 60 years under certain climatic conditions (for example, moisture in the soil), colloquially I would say that fall apart And if you’re unlucky, as in our case, the leaky pipes form a cavity that eventually bursts open and causes a large hole (in our case, a few cubic meters).
Now it’s getting exciting.
As a well insured person and already working as a professional property manager in Munich since 1979, had construction/pipeline water/storm insurance for our property, I contacted our insurance agent who, after a short check, he informed me that the sewer pipe from the house to the property line is unfortunately not secured for the public space, which must be secured separately.
I was lucky that the insurance company settled in and covered a third of the expenses, and the rest I shared with the tenant of our property. That was about 15,000 DM in damage at the time.
The good thing about this process would have been that if you had insured this circumstance from the beginning, then the insurance premium would not have been significantly higher.
But, my dear readers, no one from the insurance company tells you that and that is why I am writing this experience because it could affect you as a homeowner at some point.
I would like to know if the advice I gave at the time of my appraisal of the house described above was to insure the sewers.
That is why I reiterate my urgent recommendation: not only cast iron pipes break, crumble, but also PVC ones when they are old enough.
Have your buildings/water/storm insurance checked at the house so you don’t experience what happened to my tenant and me.
Because prevention is better than correction.