June 26, 2020

Not A Scam! Homeowners Receiving Letters Offering Optional Utility Line Service Protection

HOMEOWNERS AGAIN RECEIVING LETTERS OFFERING

OPTIONAL UTILITY LINE SERVICE PROTECTION

**Letter provides optional service line repair coverage;

**City officials: plan provides protection

for unexpected and costly repairs

RAPID CITY, SD--Many city residents are receiving letters again regarding an optional customer exterior service line protection plan offered to homeowners.

            City officials remind homeowners the letters - coming from Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) - have the endorsement of the City and the protection plan offered is not a scam. The letters provide information on a protection plan offering coverage for interior plumbing and drainage systems, exterior sewer/septic lines and exterior water service lines.

            With its membership in the National League of Cities, Rapid City is able to offer the service line protection plan which are administered by SLWA, a subsidiary of HomeServe.

            In August 2018, the City partnered with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to offer the optional coverage.  This is the fourth round of correspondence to Rapid City residents offering the service line protection. City residents receive an introductory letter about the protection plan and then a reminder correspondence in a couple weeks. The City has authorized SLWA/HomeServe to utilize the City's name and logo on all marketing and mailing materials, including correspondence.

            To date, approximately 1,138 Rapid City homeowners have enrolled in the water service line protection and sewer service line protection plans, for a total of more than 2,100 policies.  In the last year, SLWA/HomeServe paid out $139,667 for repairs.

            There is no cost to the City in offering the voluntary coverage plan to homeowners and is being offered because of the City's membership in the National League of Cities.

            "Homeowners are often surprised to learn they are responsible for service line repairs, which can be an unexpected and costly expense," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech.  "Repairs to service lines are the homeowners responsibility, all the way to where their line connects to the main.  This sometimes includes a portion under the street. These repairs are not typically covered by basic homeowners insurance or by the City."

            The protection plan offers up to $8,500 per service call for covered water service line repairs and covered sewer/septic line repairs. The letter explains the coverage, provides examples of the plan's coverage, important questions and answers, an acceptance form and contact information to SLWA/HomeServe, which works with local contractors for repairs.

            "Repairs can run in the several thousands of dollars," Tech said.  "These plans provide an affordable solution for repairs.  The company works with local, licensed contractors for the repairs.  The City incurs no expense related to this program.  The plans are voluntary and homeowners can select partial or the entire coverage."

            Coverage begins 30 days after acceptance by HomeServe.  Plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.

            Homeowners work with SLWA/HomeServe on claims through a 24-hour hotline. SLWA/HomeServe will dispatch a local, licensed contractor to work with homeowners.  There are no service fees or deductibles and HomeServe, not the City, manages the billing and claims process.

            Tech says the City's role as a partner in the program is to grant SLWA/HomeServe the right to offer and market optional service line warranties to residential single dwelling property owners within city limits. 

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Thank you,

Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator

T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

W: www.rcgov.org

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