The City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Water Works do not endorse insurance policies or warranties for water service lines or sewer laterals.
A company named Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) is mailing a series of letters to property owners in our area demanding a response within 30 days as it tries to sell "water service line insurance." The City of Milwaukee does not require or endorse this type of product.
Here are the first letter and followup letter, and the brochure SLWA mailed in August 2018. SLWA mailed the second of a three-part mailing in November 2018 and plans another in February 2019 selling insurance for sewer laterals.
The water service line connects the water main in the street to your property. A sewer lateral pipe connects the large collector sewer in the street to your property. The section of the water service line and the section of the sewer lateral connected at your property belong to the property owner. Repair and maintenance of both are the responsibility of the property owner.
The decision to purchase insurance for these pipes is entirely up to the property owner -- the insurance is optional. You are not required or obligated to purchase the insurance. If you are concerned, contact your home or property insurance company to see if you already are covered for a water service line or sewer lateral damage incident, and if they feel such coverage is warranted.
The Milwaukee Common Council passed a resolution in February 2012 to allow SLWA to mail solicitations to our customers but ended the agreement in June 2013 after complaints from our customers. However, the firm continues to send mailings to property owners in our area. The company is not permitted to use the City of Milwaukee logo or include wording that states the City of Milwaukee endorsed their product.
Customers frequently ask us at community meetings why they must pay insurance on their sewer lateral or water service line. But the City of Milwakee does not require anyone to purchase this insurance. You may cancel the policy if you wish.
Our customers also tell us they frequently receive sales pitches and promotional materials for water-related products and services. Here's what you should know:
- The Milwaukee Water Works does not endorse or promote products or services unless directed to do so by the Mayor and Common Council.
- In these rare cases, we will send you clear and direct notification about the product or service.
- We do not offer or conduct in-home water tests or inspections unless the property owner requests such a service.
- We cannot judge whether or not a company is reputable, so we recommend you contact the company or the Better Business Bureau to learn about the firm before purchasing any service.
- HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp. frequently mails letters to property owners asking for credit/debit card information and a response within 30 days. These advertising materials may trick customers into thinking the company is affiliated with local government and lead them to buy services they don't need. HomeServe recently sent letters to AARP members.