Local utilities warn about water line mailing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local utilities warn about water line mailing

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

A KWWL Consumer Alert regarding letters people are getting all across the state. The letter is from a company named HomeServe U.S.A. and it's promoting a program to pay for repairs when a water service line breaks on your property.

Area city officials say this private company is not associated with local utilities and they believe this program may not offer adequate coverage.

Having your water line repaired it could cost anywhere from $3,500.00 to $6,000. The problem with HomeServe's plan is that it only covers breaks in the water line from the home to the property line and that's where most breaks happen.

This is a problem that hits around 30 homes in Cedar Falls every year, which is 30 out of 11,000 homes.

"The policy does not cover anything off the property line and the majority of water service leaks actually normally take place out in the street between curb stop and the water main. So there's a good chance that your leak wasn't probably be covered by the program," said CFU Manager of Gas and Water Operations, Jerald Lukensmeyer.

"A few days ago I received a letter about the water mains that I was supposed to pay $55.00," said 92-year-old Waterloo resident, Elnora Murphy.

Murphy has lived in Waterloo for more than half a century. She got a letter from HomeServe. Officials with CFU say the letters are primarily being sent to older residents and that is no surprise to Murphy.

"They think older people will just send the money and they won't realize what it is," said Murphy.

Murphy is not taking part in the plan and CFU officials are recommending the same.

"This particular case I would not recommend this at all, because they're not going to be getting the coverage that they think they're getting based upon the property line exclusion," said Lukensmeyer.

We contacted HomeServe U.S.A. to ask them about their plan and we have yet to get a response.

Officials at CFU say they are looking to possibly add a coverage plan for its customers, but it would cover the entire water line to the water main.

The Better Business Bureau website shows HomeServe has gotten complaints all across the country about the letters it is sending. The company also paid more than $7,500 to the state of Kentucky as part of a settlement after an investigation in that state.

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