County water official: Insurance not needed

Published 9:02 am Friday, July 27, 2012

Letters are once again circulating from a company trying to sell “water line insurance,” this time, targeting Covington County Water Authority customers.

Debra Bennett with the CCWA said Wednesday the county water authority is not affiliated with the company known as “HomeServe,” nor does it endorse their product.

Utility customers in Andalusia received similar letters last year, which stated HomeServe was attempting to sell insurance to cover repairs to the water line that runs from one’s water meter to the home, and claimed such repairs are not covered by home owner’s insurance. While it is true that the section of water line running from the meter to the home is the customer’s responsibility, most homeowners’ policies do cover such repairs.

“We’ve had a lot of customers calling and coming in with the letters,” Bennett said. “In fact, my mother received one (Tuesday), and I told her to throw it in the garbage. It was advertising the service for $59.88 a year and excluded acts of God and the falling of frozen pipes.

“Truly, most of the time a broken pipe isn’t going to cost you that much to fix,” she said.

Consumers in several states have alleged fraud and misrepresentation against the Connecticut-based company. It is not registered with the state’s Better Business Bureau, which has investigated 180 complaints against the company in the last three years.

The company, also known as HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp., Home Emergency Insurance Solutions and Home Serve, entered into settlements and other agreements in 2010 with the attorneys general in three states, and has paid nearly $100,000 in civil penalties and other costs related to consumer complaints regarding warranty misrepresentation and misleading advertising.