7On your side: HomeServe insurance offer - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7 On Your Side: HomeServe insurance offer

The Better Business Bureau has been getting a lot of calls lately dealing with a mailout that went to many consumers in our area. BBB officials say it may look like it's from a utility, but it's from a company trying to sell insurance.

Seeing the street all torn up at a neighbor's house is enough to make anyone think about the possibility of a water or sewerage issue, and what if any part of it might be the homeowner's responsibility? So, some may consider it a good idea to carry insurance to cover such problems.

But Carmen Million with the SWLA Better Business Bureau says they've been getting a lot of calls about a mass mailing from a company called HomeServe in Florida.
"They send a letter that consumers are confused about. Consumers assume that this is city or government regulated, that it's something that they are required to receive. And basically it's an insurance policy trying to sell you a policy  on your water or sewer lines from your home to the road," said Million.

Million says the mailing is not from any local utility and the insurance is not required.

"Consumers need to realize this is not affiliated with the city, they're not affiliated with any government entity, they have not been asked to contact consumers in this area, to sell this insurance on behalf of the city, and it is simply a company trying to sell you a policy," said MIllion.

Million points out only you can decide if you need such a policy. To do that, she says you may want to see if your homeowners would likely cover a problem.

"Take into consideration how many times you've needed that and if your homeowners policy covers that, and what the city or the parish is required to cover in case a line is busted. So you need to check into those things. Do your homework, just like you would before you purchase any insurance," said Million.
"You also have to understand, what would cause that line to break. What would be the reason for it? Would it be a disaster? Well, your homeowners policy may cover it. If somebody's working in your yard and they bust it, who would be responsible," she said.

If you do wind up hiring a contractor, have an agreement in writing and ..., "Never pay a substantial amount of money up front, never pay in full up front and never pay in cash," said Million.

And if you reimburse a contractor for materials, make sure the supplier has been paid so you don't wind up with a lien on your property.

If you have a story you'd like us to check out for our 7 On Your Side report, message tschmidt@kplctv.com here at the station or call our newsroom at 337-437-7570.

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