Target 2: Letters Offer Insurance Protection for Water Lines - WBAY

Target 2: Letters Offer Insurance Protection for Water Lines

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Green Bay -

Action 2 News has been receiving calls and emails from homeowners asking about letters they received offering insurance for the water line on their property. Tammy Elliott has been looking into this, and clears up the confusion in a Target 2 Consumer Alert.

You might have received the letter in the mail in the past week or so. On the outside, it says "Important information regarding your water line."

People called Target 2 asking, who's sending the letter? And is it legit?

The letter comes from a company called HomeServe USA offering "coverage" should the water line on your property leak or break.

Hundreds of people have been calling the Green Bay water utility wanting to know if the letter came from the city.

"I think it's confusing because we have received a number of calls from people calling the city, thinking the city had initiated this. I'd like to make it clear that the city in no way did initiate this mailing. This is a private company soliciting for their business," the utility's Nancy Quirk said.

A company spokesperson tells Target 2 that HomeServe is based in Connecticut. While it's been offering various home repair service plans since 2003, HomeService says it first started mailings to Wisconsin residents in April, and in just the past week sent letters to 14,000 Green Bay homeowners.

"What we provide is a service that's independent of the local utilities, because we are an independent company offering what some people like to think of as a sort of, you know, AAA for your house, and so we want to make it clear to homeowners that this is an independent offering that is optional like any other insurance that homeowners might purchase," HomeService USA spokesman Myles Meehan told Target 2 by phone.

The Green Bay water utility says its customers are responsible for the water line on their property, from what's called the curb stop in your yard into your home.

"We have 36,000 services in the City of Green Bay. We see about a dozen breaks on the service side a year, just to give an idea of that," Quirk said.

Before you buy HomeServe's $4.99-a-month service contract, the Better Business Bureau has this advice.

"You should review it like you would any other insurance service. Do you need it? Do you already have coverage with your current homeowners insurance? So that's the kind of questions consumers need to ask themselves," the BBB's Susan Bach said.

If you look closely at the bottom of the letter, there is a disclaimer stating HomeServe is an independent company separate from your local utility.

The spokesperson told Target 2 they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

The Better Business Bureau suggests before you sign anything, review the contract and the company.

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