|Solicitation letter confuses elderly RP homeowners
Corporation sells insurance to protect exterior water lines
Some residents in Rohnert Park have been confused over recent letters they received concerning protection of their home’s exterior water lines.
The letters are from a management repair corporation soliciting insurance coverage for exterior water lines from the house to the meter. Some RP residents believe these letters constitute the necessity to purchase the insurance. The letters predominantly have targeted senior citizens in Rohnert Park who happen to be homeowners.
The letters, from HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp., correctly tell residents they are responsible for the “full cost of maintaining and repairing the exterior water service line that brings fresh water to your property.” That statement is followed by the warning that the residence receiving the letter is not covered under HomeServe. It also states “repair or replacement of this line can be expensive, costing you thousands in unforeseen expenses, which could burden finances.”
The corporation bills itself as “an independent company separate from your local utility or community.”
According to the letter, homeowners signing up for the $4.99 per month plan will have $12,000 in protection for covered repairs. It also offers as many service calls as a customer would need up to the benefit amount. However, fine print on the reverse side states that to be covered, any damage to a water line must be the result of normal wear and tear.
Water line damage caused by accident or negligence is specifically not covered.
The mailing also comes with an acceptance form, which includes methods to pay and seeks credit card information.
An Internet search of HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp. proved there is a company by that named based in Norwalk, Conn., but it has come under fire from consumers and agencies who contend they engage in illegal business practices.
One site, Rip-Off Report, included comments from users of HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp. that complained the company — contrary to its promise of a 24-hour emergency repair hotline — refused to fix a water main, made charges without authorization.
The Community Voice placed phone calls to three different numbers for HomeServe, and those who answered the first two times were unable to provide information as to the physical address of the company or a telephone number to the corporate offices.
Anyone with concerns about their water mains should call their primary insurance carrier to see if independent coverage from HomeServe is necessary.