- Q: Do water or sewer lines really break?
A: Water and sewer lines clog, leak and break every day. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently rated our nation's infrastructure as a D+. Private lines are subjected to the same harsh elements as public lines.
- Q: What causes water or sewer lines to fail?
Wear and tear, ground shifting and age can result in fitting failure and pipe corrosions. A small crack or pinhole can develop and lead to a leak.
Rain, snow; freeze, thaw; each change of seasons brings with it a different challenge to your utility lines and the potential for cracks and leaks. The extreme weather seen around the country in recent years has really put a strain on public and private infrastructure.
We all admire the beauty of a landscape graced with trees and shrubbery, but tree roots are not friends of your utility lines. Wrapping themselves around your lines, they will eventually cause cracks, leaks and clogs.
- Q: If my water or sewer line breaks, can't I just call my local plumber to come out and make an inexpensive repair?
A: Costs vary, but repairs to a broken, leaking or clogged water or sewer line can range from $1,300 to as much as $3,500 - or more. Plus, not all plumbers have the necessary equipment to do the job quickly and properly.
- Q: How selective are you when choosing contractors to conduct repairs?
A: Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) is very particular when it comes to selecting contractors into our network, which includes screening by a third-party vendor. The objective is to provide the highest level of customer service and all of our contractors understand the importance of their role. SLWA works with local contractors that have both the desire and ability to meet our high customer service standards. To learn more about our contractor process, check out our blog.
- Q: Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?
A: Yes. We have been a member of the Better Business Bureau since 2003 and are very proud of our clean record. We are also approved by the appropriate state regulatory body to operate in the states where we provide coverage. Additionally, Service Line Warranties of America was selected as the 2013 Winner of the Western Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.
- Q: What part of my water or sewer line am I responsible for maintaining?
A: Homeowner responsibility varies greatly across the U.S. In some areas, the utility is responsible for the sewer lateral that runs from the main line to the right-of-way, property line or sewer clean-out near the curb. In other areas, the utility is not responsible for any portion of the lateral line that runs beyond the main line. For water service lines, the utility generally only covers the portion of the line from the main to the curb stop valve or water meter at the edge of the property. Regardless of these local differences, SLWA will provide coverage for the portion of the service line for which you are responsible.
- Q: What items are included as part of the warranty?
A: The external water and/or sewer line warranty covers the underground service line from the foundation of your home to the point where the line becomes the utility's responsiblity. If any part of the line is clogged, broken and/or leaking. SLWA will repair or replace the line in order to restore service (including clearing tree roots from the water or sewer line).
- Q: What items are excluded as part of the warranty?
A: The water line warranty does not cover the costs of repairs to the meter or meter vault, nor does it cover branch lines to sprinklers, pools, hot tubs, etc. The sewer line warranty does not cover septic systems. The warranties are designed to ensure that the homeowner has utility service to the primary residence for purposes of drinking, cooking and cleaning. Repairs for damages caused by the homeowner, a third party, natural disaster, act of God or by other insurable causes are also not covered. Complete Terms & Condidtions for your residence can be viewed by returning to the homepage and clicking on "View Terms and Conditions". You will be asked to enter your zip code to ensure the correct version is displayed.
- Q: Does the warranty include the inside of the house?
A: No. The external water and sewer line warranties do not provide coverage for inside the house.
- Q: What are the event caps for the warranty? What are the annual caps per household?
A: Coverage caps listed in the Terms & Conditions are per occurence as follows:
- Water- $4,000 plus and additional $500 for public sidewalk cutting, if necessary.
- Sewer- $4,000 plus an additional $4,000 for public street cutting, if necessary.
There are no annual or lifetime caps for coverage. Coverage is provided on a per-incident basis and all work is warranted for one year. It has been SLWA’s experience that these coverage caps will more than adequately provide coverage 99.9% of the time. In the rare instance that the repair cost is greater than the coverage provided, SLWA will work closely with the contractor to provide the homeowner the additional work at our discounted cost. Please note: some cities have special coverage situations. To verify your area’s coverage caps, please return to the homepage and click on ‘View Terms and Conditions’ to view your specific Terms & Conditions.
- Q: Who replaces landscaping if damaged?
A: SLWA will provide basic restoration to the site. This includes filling in the holes, mounding the trench (to allow for settling) and raking and seeding the affected area. Restoration does not include replacing trees or shrubs or repairing private paved/concrete surfaces.
- Q: Is soil movement due to ground shifting covered?
A: Yes, ground shifting is one of the major causes of water and sewer line breaks. If the line is broken and leaking, the repair is covered under the warranty.
- Q: Is tree root damage covered?
A: Yes, invasive tree roots are another major cause of water and sewer line failures. If the line is broken, leaking or clogged, the repair is covered under the warranty.
- Q: When does my warranty start?
A: Coverage begins 30 days after enrollment unless otherwise noted through a promotional letter.
- Q: What do I do if I need a repair?
A: Simply call our 24-hour hotline at 1-866-922-9006 to speak with one of our claims representatives. There are no forms or paperwork for you to complete. Once you report a claim, our contractor must call you within one hour to schedule an onsite visit, which typically occurs within 24 hours (including holidays and weekends), but on rare occasions could take as long as 48 hours.
The vast majority of repairs are completed within one to two days of receiving the claim. Claims taking longer than a day are those which usually require utility line marking to prevent accidental damage to other lines on the property. Upon completion of your repair, you will be sent a satisfaction survey. Results of these surveys are used to continually improve our service levels and processes. SLWA has consistently enjoyed a 96% customer satisfaction rating (excellent and good categories).
- Q: How will I be billed?
A: The choice is yours. We can invoice you, charge your card or deduct the payment amount automatically from your checking account. You can make payments monthly or annually.
- Q: Is this a long-term commitment?
A: No. The contract is monthly and you may cancel your warranty at any time. If you have prepaid your contract and decide to cancel before the end of the term, you will be refunded the unused portion of your premium.
- Q: The coverage cap looks adequate, but do you have an annual or lifetime restriction on how much you will pay to repair?
A: No. Unlike some other warranties available, we provide you with the full coverage per incident. We will pay up to your coverage amount each and every time you need us. We do not deduct prior repair expenses from your coverage cap or limit the amount we will pay annually.
- Q: What codes will you adhere to? The current code? The original code at the time of installation?
A: If the line is broken and leaking, SLWA will repair or replace the leaking portion of the line according to the current code.
- Q: I live in a condominium. Am I responsible for my water or sewer line?
A: Please contact your homeowner’s association to determine if you are personally responsible for your water or sewer service line.
- Q: Can my condominium association enroll in this program?
A: Yes. Because coverage issues can vary widely between associations, including private versus public roads and single versus shared service lines, please call 1-866-922-9006 to speak with an employee who understands these various situations and specializes in this very customized warranty program.
- Q: Am I able to pay my bill online through www.SLWofA.com?
A: Yes. Follow the navigation prompts under “Manage Account” to log in. Once logged in, if you have already received an invoice, you can go online to pay your bill. Select “Make a Payment” from the homepage. You can choose to pay by credit card or bank draft and you can choose to make a one-time payment or set your account up for recurring charges or drafts. You will receive an electronic receipt in your email after your transaction is complete. If you have not yet received your first invoice but would like to prepay on your warranty service, please call Customer Service at 1-866-922-9006 for assistance.
- Q: I cannot find my Terms & Conditions. How can I get another copy?
A: You can either call SLWA at 1-866-922-9006 to request another copy or obtain them from this website. Follow the navigation prompts under “Manage Account” to log in. Then select “View Terms & Conditions” from the homepage. The warranty product(s) that are active on your account will display. Once you make your selection, your Terms & Conditions will display as a .pdf. You can print or save them at this time in addition to viewing them online.
- Q: Can I set up recurring payments online through www.SLWofA.com?
A: Yes. Follow the navigation prompts under “Manage Account” to log in. Then select “Update Payment Method” from the homepage. On the next screen, select the warranty products that you want to set up on a recurring payment method. Follow the prompts to choose your new payment method (you can choose between Recurring Credit Card, Recurring Bank Account Withdrawal, and if you are already set up on a recurring payment method, you can also switch back to Invoice) and to provide the details for that payment method. You will receive an electronic receipt in your email after your transaction is complete.
- Q: Isn’t my city or utility company responsible for my lines? If not, doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance cover this type of repair?
A: Typically, no. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that they are responsible for the repair and replacement of their broken or leaking utility lines and most homeowner’s policies will pay to repair the damage created by failed utility lines but not for the repair itself. We encourage you to call your insurance company to determine your actual coverage. If you live in a condominium or duplex dwelling, we encourage you to contact your homeowner’s association to determine if you need this coverage prior to enrollment.
- Q: Who is Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA)?
A: SLWA is a private company that provides optional water and/or sewer service line warranties to homeowners. SLWA is proud to have been selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) as a warranty service provider. The NLC, representing more than 218 million Americans, is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. After a decade in business, SLWA has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
The program is offered at no cost to the city and no public funds are used to promote or operate the program. Importantly, SLWA is solely responsible for the administration and service of the warranty programs.
- Q: Why is my city sending this letter to me?
A: The National League of Cities (NLC) recognized homeowner water/sewer line warranty services as something in which many homeowners have expressed an interest. It came to their attention that several state leagues had already endorsed and were already working with SLWA. For this reason, they carefully reviewed SLWA and determined Service Line Warranties of America to be the best option of those companies providing these types of warranties.
Your city council simply wanted to share the results of NLC's research with its homeowners. Letters were mailed out by SLWA for the sole purpose of providing program information. Homeowners who wish to learn more about this program or want to enroll are encouraged to contact SLWA directly.
If you choose to enroll in this program, please do so with the understanding that your city in no way warrants or is liable for the work or performance of Service Line Warranties of America. We are only making you aware of the availability of this product since water and sewer line repairs can be very expensive. Please see our blog to learn more about the partnership with your city.
- Q: Why did the National League of Cities select a single company to introduce these warranties?
A: The NLC recognized the need for these warranties and realized that there were economies of scale that could be achieved through the aggregation of potential homeowners that would result in a lower cost to the homeowner. They also realized that warranties are only as good as the company offering them and after a careful review of providers, determined that SLWA had the history and proven track record of providing the superior customer service required for this program.
- Q: Did the city pay for this mailing?
A: No. SLWA pays for all aspects of the program including marketing, customer service and repairs.
- Q: Does anyone in my city have an ownership position in SLWA or benefit personally from this program?
A: No. SLWA is independently owned and operated and no city official, employee or relative receives any personal compensation whatsoever. In other words, no one in your city is participating for personal gain.
- Q: Is the city receiving any compensation from SLWA?
A: SLWA does offer the city compensation for allowing the use of the city seal on the letter. Why? Because the support of the city alerts residents of the legitimacy of the program resulting in more enrollments, which in turn allows SLWA to offer a lower price because of the increased participation.
- Q: What happens if Service Line Warranties of America goes out of business? What happens to money paid in premiums?
A: All of SLWA's contracts are month-to-month and SLWA must legally maintain adequate reserves to satisfy all claims filed. Furthermore, SLWA has filed an application and received state approval in all states in which it operates. Each state has different requirements to ensure consumer protection and SLWA is compliant in maintaining the legally required financial reserves in the form of bonds, funded cash reserves or other financial security depending on the jurisdiction’s requirements. Should some unforeseeable event cause undue financial hardship on the company, the rules established by the various state agencies ensure that SLWA's customers are provided with adequate protection to ensure their claims would be paid.