gas leak repair - reasonable/insurance?
Hello - my elderly father just informed me last night (we live 150 miles away) that my parents smelled gas in the basement & upon calling a couple of plumbers to investigate were told that the pipe carrying the gas from outside &above the basement ceiling was leaking.
The gas pipe runs from where it is connected from the outside of the house - runs above the basement ceiling - across 3 rooms to the various connections on the other side of the basement. Approximately ~40 ft.
Luckily the ceiling is open in the room where it enters the house & also open where it connects to all its distribution points. But the ceiling is closed in between in the 2nd room (gym).
My father's recount of the plumbers' estimates is that it appears the leak is closer to where the gas entry is & therefore over a non-closed ceiling.
My questions are:
1) The gas company won't take responsibility for any gas issues within the house - is this true?
2) If the leak is indeed over an unclosed ceiling - can the pipe be replaced without tearing down the middle room's ceiling?
3) One plumber is charging $1600 but requires permitting & no replacement of ceiling.
Another is quoting $2100 with no permits & no ceiling cutting. Appropriate for the work or reasonable?
4) Is this where insurance is worth a call?
Would appreciate the community's feedback on this please.