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Service line protection

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 3:12 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 21, 2014 3:16 p.m. CDT

Recently, the Bureau County Republican published an article, “Buyer beware: Spring Valley asks residents to be cautious,” regarding mailings local residents received from HomeServe offering protection for breaks that occur in residential water service lines. 

HomeServe is a BBB-accredited provider of over 2.5 million service protection plans for more than 1.6 million homeowners across the country, including nearly 20,000 in Illinois. We believe in the value our services provide to homeowners, and the numbers speak for themselves. Over the last three years, HomeServe has performed more than 800,000 jobs under our various service plans, delivering more than $150 million in repair savings for our customers.

We agree that recipients of any advertising offer should read the materials closely before making a purchase. However, in this case, there is nothing hidden in fine print.  From HomeServe’s logo on the top of the letter, to the “Who Is HomeServe” FAQ, our materials make clear the coverage is provided by a company that is independent of the local utility and is optional. The materials also clearly explain the service that is being provided.

Many homeowners are not aware that when the water pipe between the street and their home bursts or springs a leak, it is usually the homeowner who is responsible for covering the cost of repairs, which can be quite expensive. In most cases, basic homeowners insurance and the local water utility do not cover repairs to these lines. 

Without coverage of the type HomeServe provides, the cost of such repairs can be devastating, particularly when many Americans do not have $1,000 or more on hand for such emergencies. For a small monthly fee, our coverage plans protect homeowners from the unexpected expense and inconvenience of these repairs by providing a 24-hour emergency hotline and local licensed contractors to complete the repairs.

Most readers will be familiar with the disclaimer, “past performance is not a guarantee of future results.” This is good advice for homeowners considering water service line protection. While many homeowners may have gone for decades without a water service line problem, this does not indicate that their water service lines will never fail. In fact, the opposite is likely. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 62 percent of homes in Spring Valley are 55 years old or older, and the water service lines serving these homes are typically just as old. With so many water lines well into the range of their useful lives of between 40 to 70 years, many Spring Valley residents may have to repair or replace their water service lines in the near future. The protection plans from HomeServe offer these homeowners valuable savings and peace of mind.

We encourage homeowners in Spring Valley and neighboring communities to think about emergency preparedness and consider a water service line protection plan from HomeServe to protect against the expense and inconvenience of a water service line emergency.

Myles Meehan,

senior vice president for public relations for HomeServe USA

Richmond, Va.

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