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Now in our 18th year, HomeServe provides over 4.7 million homeowners in North America with affordable home emergency service plans and installation services that offer protection from the hassle and high costs of unexpected repairs. We completed more than 640,000 repairs for customers across our business over the past year and garnered 4.8 out of 5-star reviews from those surveyed after receiving service.
Answers to common questions about HomeServe
HomeServe is proud of the exceptional service and reliability we provide to our customers. We are committed to full transparency about our company and to our more than 1,000 municipal and utility partners in the U.S. and Canada under the HomeServe, Service Line Warranties of America and Service Line Warranties of Canada brands. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and claims about HomeServe. If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How common are utility line breakages and how much do repairs cost?
As the largest provider of water and sewer service line repair plans in the U.S., HomeServe repairs tens of thousands of these service lines for our customers every year.
With water lines for example, it is very difficult to determine when a pipe may fail, with key contributors being the type of piping material, age of the service pipe, soil conditions and installation quality. A 2017 study in the Journal of American Water Works Association found that failures in water pipes occur most often in homes between the age of 30 and 60 years old. With the median age of homes in the U.S. about 40 years, the threat of failure should be a major concern for a majority of homeowners as many service pipes are functioning on borrowed time.
And a water line repair can be costly – a replacement averages $2,500 nationally. With the modest cost of a HomeServe service plan, homeowners would still see financial benefit if the service line didn’t break for another few decades – verses saving the small monthly fee at current rates.
Is investing in a “rainy day” fund a more effective approach to buying a service plan?
HomeServe’s Biannual State of Home Survey conducted by the Harris Poll has tracked homeowner readiness for a sudden emergency repair expense for a number of years. The most recent release of the survey, Winter 2021, found that 41% of respondents have $500 or less or $0 set aside for an unexpected emergency home repair. This data is consistent with the Federal Reserve’s 2021 Report on Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households that found that 36% of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400 or would cover it by carrying a balance on credit cards and borrowing from friends or family.
Many of the repairs covered by HomeServe service plans can be quite expensive and an unexpected blow to a homeowner’s wallet. For example, a water line replacement averages $2,500 nationally. With the modest cost of a water line service plan, homeowners would still see financial benefit if the service line didn’t break for another few decades versus saving the small monthly fee at current interest rates.
A 2017 study in the Journal of the American Water Works Association highlighted the importance of localities and utilities taking proactive efforts to make sure homeowners are aware of their responsibility when it comes to repairing and replacing water and sewer lines on their property. Further, the study touted the benefit of plans offered by companies like HomeServe to ensure homeowners can manage the cost of repairs as the reality is most people do not have rainy day funds and so a low-cost home repair service plan can be a sensible tool for many families to include in their financial strategy.
Doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance already cover these repairs?
Typically no. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that they are responsible for the repair and the replacement of their broken, blocked or failed utility (water, sewer, electrical and gas) lines on their property. While most basic homeowners policies will pay to repair the consequential damage that results from failed utility lines, they do not cover the repair itself. HomeServe encourages homeowners to call their insurance company to determine actual coverage.
Here are two additional considerations to keep in mind:
• First, some home insurers offer a rider that can be added to basic homeowners insurance for an additional charge. These insurance riders come with deductibles that typically range from $500-$1,000. A HomeServe service plan covering one of these utility lines has no deductible. If a homeowner has a single claim in a year under the homeowners insurance option, they will pay substantially more than you would with a zero-deductible HomeServe plan.
• Second, finding a trusted home repair contractor can be a big hassle. HomeServe takes the challenge out of finding a contractor to do the work. With a claim under an insurance rider, the homeowner is responsible for finding a qualified and trustworthy contractor to complete the repair, pay them and wait for reimbursement. With a HomeServe plan, a vetted local contractor from their service network will come and make repairs. This, along with the fact that HomeServe pays the contractor directly, takes a lot of the inconvenience and cost out of a home emergency repair.
What is the relationship between HomeServe and the utilities and municipalities with which it partners?
Over 1,000 municipalities and utilities across the country partner with HomeServe to make available our service plans to their residents and customers. Each agreement is a little different and is tailored to meet the needs of the specific community or entity. These partnerships allow HomeServe to offer residents specially designed plans and savings. Under all partnerships, signing up for a HomeServe service plan is completely optional for the homeowner.
For municipal water and wastewater entities offering the HomeServe program, one of the key objectives is education because many homeowners are not aware that buried water and sewer lines on their property are their responsibility to maintain. A broken or blocked service line on the property can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace and many times residents are unprepared for this unexpected expense.
The program not only help homeowners to manage expenses related to repairs, they help municipalities by encouraging residents to report water or sewer leaks or issues in a timely manner. Timely repairs to water service lines conserves water and reduces water loss, saving all residents money in the long run. Timely repairs to sewer lines minimize wastewater runoff helping the environment.
Why does HomeServe use municipal or utility logos in its marketing materials?
We are committed to transparency in all of our communications. All marketing done on behalf of the 1,000 municipal and utility partners HomeServe has around the country is approved by those entities prior to use. HomeServe’s partnership agreements with local municipalities and utilities allow the company to use related logos to indicate that there is a formal partnership in place, to let residents know that the offering is legitimate and to demonstrate that these entities have approved the service for the benefit of local residents. All HomeServe materials clearly state that the services the company offers are voluntary and that they are offered by HomeServe, a private company that is separate from the local municipality or city.
What is the relationship between HomeServe and Service Line Warranties of America?
In 2016, HomeServe acquired Utility Service Providers, Inc. (USP), which had a long-time strategic relationship with The National League of Cities (NLC). Through the acquisition, HomeServe acquired USP’s brand, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA). SLWA continues to be the HomeServe brand through which the company works with the NLC and is the exclusive provider under the NLC Service Line Warranty Program to the more than 700 partner municipal utilities. No matter which brand a homeowner relies on for their emergency repair peace of mind – HomeServe or SLWA – homeowners can expect to receive the highest level of professionalism, expertise and commitment to quality.
Why does HomeServe have some BBB complaints?
HomeServe is proud of its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We also are fortunate to have won the 2018 Better Business Bureau Torch Award of Ethics in our Service Line Warranties business segment. The BBB uses several factors to arrive at the company ratings of A+, including the relatively small number of complaints for a company of our size and commitment to complaint resolution. HomeServe has over 4.7 million customers, we have millions of customer interactions annually and have performed 1.7 million repairs for customers during the same 3-year complaint reporting period on the BBB site. Regardless of this, we take each customer concern seriously and work to resolve their issue to the customer’s satisfaction.
What are the details of HomeServe’s settlements?
In 2010, a few state attorneys general raised questions about certain marketing materials used by HomeServe at that time, leading to six voluntary settlement agreements between 2010 and 2015. The agreements were for settlement purposes only and were not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing by HomeServe. Shortly after the questions arose in 2010, HomeServe changed its marketing materials nationwide to address the concerns. HomeServe has also completed a successful marketing review with the Better Business Bureau as part of its accreditation process to ensure the company is in line with best practice regarding marketing transparency. Today, the company enjoys both BBB Accreditation and an A+ rating. Since 2010, HomeServe’s business has grown nine-fold, from 500,000 customers to more than 4.7 million, demonstrating municipal and utility partner trust in the company and consumer interest in the value of our service plans.
In 2017, HomeServe asked Jack Conway, Kentucky’s attorney general when that state’s settlement was put in place in 2010, to review HomeServe’s compliance with the settlement. Conway concluded that “HomeServe is deeply committed to compliance with consumer protection laws in its marketing to potential customers.” Further, Conway noted that HomeServe’s “robust legal and compliance regiment…focuses on doing the right thing for its customers.” HomeServe is committed to complete transparency in all its communications and delivering best in class service to its partners and their customers.
On the record
Late last year, the City of Newport launched an important partnership with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) that provides tremendous benefits to homeowners. [...]
March 1, 2021
By manipulating repair data and ignoring the experiences of millions of satisfied customers and utility and municipal partners, a recent piece in Consumers’ Checkbook comes to a conclusion with which HomeServe wholeheartedly disagrees. [...]
December 18, 2020
from Quad-City Times
This is in response to the Ask the Times on June 14 (Ask the Times: Are Bettendorf residents required to get water line insurance?), when a Bettendorf resident had a question about the city’s partnership with Service Line Warranties of America. [...]
June 24, 2018