An endorsement to the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Homeowners insurance program, which Big I New York initially proposed, has been approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). The form gives homeowners coverage for damage to underground utility service lines. It will allow you to offer better protection against very expensive losses to your Homeowners clients.
Since 2012, Big I New York has been a member of the Mid-America Insurance Conference, a forum where independent agents, trade association staff, and representatives of industry standards-setting organizations discuss topics such as property-casualty coverage, rules, forms, and other technical aspects within the industry. ISO, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) attend the forum. When there isn't a pandemic, the conference meets each year in early November in Kansas City, MO.
In response to a Big I New York member inquiry, we proposed at the 2016 meeting that ISO create an optional Homeowners insurance endorsement that would insure against loss or damage to underground utility service lines, such as natural gas, water and sewer lines. While ISO has no obligation to adopt the attendees' proposals, in this case they did and reported at the 2019 meeting that they intended to file such an endorsement with regulators across the country.
The NYS DFS approved the endorsement for use in New York on November 3, 2020.
The endorsement is HO 06 69 12 20, Utility Line Expense Coverage. It insures against damage to utility lines on the insured's residence premises, located outside the home and below the ground's surface against causes of loss such as wear and tear, deterioration, rust, corrosion, leakage or blockage. The premium charge is based on individual insurer rate filings, with a modification based on the age of the construction.
If any of the insurers you represent use ISO Homeowners forms, they have the ability to adopt this form so that you can offer it to your clients now. We encourage you to ask your carriers whether they offer this important new coverage.