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Homeowners warned of water line insurance solicitations

Friday, February 10, 2012

Area residents receiving mailed notices concerning water line insurance are being warned by Cherokee City Hall to consult with their local insurance agent before committing to any type of insurance solicitations from unknown sources.

An undetermined number of residents have recently received unsolicited offers from "Homeserve" in Des Moines to insure their water lines at a cost of approximately $5 per month, $15 per quarter, or $60 per year.

Residents are asked to sign up to commit and must pay by credit/debit card, check, or money order. The form reads that the coverage would automatically renew each year unless the property owner call and cancel.

Cherokee City Administrator Don Eikmeier said the alleged company has absolutely no affiliation with the City of Cherokee, nor does the City have any type of ongoing program to raise awareness of property owner responsibility regarding municipal utility lines of any type.

Eikmeier encourages any resident or property owner receiving such solicitations to contact their local insurance agent for advice.

'We have no information of association with this company and do not know of its credibility or anything," explained Eikmeier.

Other cities also have reported similar Homeserve solicitations in their towns and have quickly disassociated with them.

The solicitation also reads that "Homeserve USA Repair Management Corp. is an independent company separate from your local utility or community and offers this optional service as an authorized representative for AMT Warranty Corp., who is your contract issuer."

How Homeserve selects who to solicit or when is unknown, according to Eikmeier.

In the event of leaks and or breakage, homeowners are responsible for the repair of their water service line from the house to the City's service connection.

Eikmeier encourages all Cherokee property owners to consult with their local insurance agent and local contractors if any repair is needed for their water or sewer lines.

Octogenarian Kenny Bern, a Cherokee homeowner who received one of the solicitations, admitted the notice surprised him.

"Olga (his late wife) and I have owned this house for over 50 years and I've never ever got anything like this in the mail. I read it over and over and it kinda scared me. Then I went to see my insurance agent and he told me he had never heard of this outfit. So I did what he told me. I wadded it up and threw it in the trash where it belongs."



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