Insurance company brings concerns to SWLA residents

HomeServe USA

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - There's a potential scam that lake area residents need to be on the lookout for regarding the water lines on your property.

The company 'HomeServe USA' is based in Florida., not Lafayette, like many residents believe after receiving a letter from them.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the letters are nothing more than a solicitation

It starts with a letter and could end with you paying for something you already have. The company 'HomeServe USA' is causing a stir in the lake area, and it isn't the first time.

"This company, home serve has actually done a mass mailing in our area before," said Carmen Million, president of the Better Business Bureau. "What they're doing is they're sending a letter offering insurance for your water pipes or whatever in the front of your property."

The Better Business Bureau received hundreds of calls last week because consumers are not familiar with the company, but the company does in fact exist.

"They are not affiliated with any government, city or water entity," said Million. "They're simply selling you an insurance policy. "

The letters lead residents towards believing the insurance is mandatory, similar to automobile insurance, but don't be alarmed.

"It's definitely not mandatory in the city of Lake Charles for them to have insurance to fix their own water lines, no," said director of Public Works Mister Edwards.

"Just because someone is sending you a letter that may sound urgent, and may seem like it's from a government agency, you still should do your homework," said Million.

Edwards says the city is responsible for the water lines that run to the meter, but the pipes from the meter to your home are your responsibility. He also adds that any water leak is usually not very costly.

"What's good about a water line is it's under pressure, and you're going to be able to normally see where the wet spot is and you can find it," said Edwards. "A water leak in a water pipe is minimal to repair normally."

Million says to use caution when disclosing any personal information. Always read policies closely before agreeing and check your home owner's policy before purchasing other coverage, your water pipes may already be covered.

"The mailing is not necessarily illegal and it's not necessarily a scam," said Million. "It's just like any other company. They're trying to sell you a policy. Do you really need it? That's something you need to decide."

The best protection from any scam or identity theft is just being careful.  Refrain from using your debit cards for online purchases. Instead use a credit card, but do so responsibly. Also, dispose of personal documents properly by either shredding or burning them.

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