An insurance company has sent out mailers offering a service some may call unnecessary.
The mailer looks official, but is nothing more than a pitch from the company selling a type of insurance you may have never heard of.
At Ron Kelly`s home in in Williamsport a headline from something in his mailbox got his attention.
The mailer told him he had until March 22 to get in on a program he first thought was from his water company.
“The presentation of the whole document looks like it’s an official document,” Kelly said. He read on. “Your property is not covered by water line coverage from home service.”
Kelly said he realized it was nothing more than a sales pitch, but he fears his older neighbors might feel the pressure to buy it.
The official looking document from Homeserve USA based in Connecticut offers insurance against up to $6,000 in damages or leaks in the water pipeline on homeowner’s property.
So what would Kelly be getting? Newswatch 16 measured the approximate length of the underground pipeline from Kelly’s home to the street. That’s what $60 a year covers for pipeline insurance.
Kelly wondered if he needed the insurance.
Other people who received the mailers had the same questions and took them to Williamsport’s municipal water authority.
“Because of the official looking, the way it looks, our customers have been a little bit concerned that it’s something we’ve been promoting and it’s not,” said Doug Keith of the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority.
Newswatch 16 called Homeserve with concerns that the official looking document might be seen as more than a sales pitch for an insurance product.
The company replied, “Homeserve strives to have its communication materials as clear as possible. Customers who feel that they signed up in error or have changed their mind, need only contact us for a full refund.”
When asked about the deadline pressure in the mailer the company said, “This is a common and accepted approach used in most marketing communications.”
Homeserve is not doing anything illegal in the way it is trying to get customers, but its tactics have led to complaints to better business bureaus across the country.
Some homeowner policies do cover repairs to the water pipeline that runs from your house to the street.
You can call your agent to see if you are already covered.
You can also call your water company to see if it offers similar coverage for an extra monthly fee.