11/26/13 — Mount Olive residents warned about water line insurance letters

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Mount Olive residents warned about water line insurance letters

By Nelson Bland
Published in News on November 26, 2013 1:46 PM

Some Mount Olive residents are receiving letters and forms about purchasing insurance for water service line maintenance at their residences, but police Chief Brian Rhodes warns citizens that the town of Mount Olive has nothing to do with the sales pitch.

Also, Rhodes noted, the town does not require water customers to have such insurance.

He said that a company in Connecticut is mailing the letters to residents who may get the idea that the town is sending out the letters to encourage homeowners to purchase the insurance.

While homeowners are responsible for maintenance of their water lines from the street connection to their homes, they do not have to purchase insurance for water line maintenance, Rhodes noted.

The letters cannot be termed a scam, but they could be "very misleading, especially for the elderly who may feel they have to buy the insurance," Rhodes said. He said even the wording of the letters may imply that the town is involved.

In all caps a line at the top of the letters reads: "Important information regarding your water service line."

The letters begin, "Our records indicate that your property is not covered by water service line coverage from us."

The Connecticut firm offers coverage at the rate of $4.99 a month on an "E-Z Pay Plan" or a $59.88 per year one-time payment. The coverage has a limit of up to $3,000 per repair or up to $6,000 per year.

The letters also set a deadline date for the recipients to return forms with remittance or to call a toll-free telephone number to purchase the insurance.

"We just want residents to know that the town does not offer any kind of water line insurance, nor is any required by the town," Rhodes said. "We feel that the letters from the Connecticut company are misleading and intimidating to our citizens."

Rhodes said "the best thing" any citizen can do if he or she gets one of the letters is to "toss it in the trash can."

He said he did some research on the company that is sending out the letters and learned there have been "hundreds of complaints" about the firm to Better Business Bureaus from not paying for damages to poor customer service.

Rhodes suggests that if residents want water line insurance coverage they should contact their local insurance agent.