Local, Park Forest

Insurance Against Water Main Breaks Possibly Available to Park Foresters

Water main break
Water main break. (Photo: https://water.arlingtonva.us)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Foresters may soon be able to insure themselves against water main breaks that happen on their property.

According to an agenda briefing by Assistant Village Engineer Nicholas Christie, the Village of Park Forest may soon enter into a marketing agreement with the Utility Service Partners Service Line Warranty Program.

And, according to Mayor Ostenburg, Park Forest would not be the first in the nation to enter into such an agreement. Mayor Ostenburg said several times during the January 4 rules meeting, that he has been made aware of similar agreements throughout the United States thanks to his involvement in the National League of Cities.

According to Nick Christie:

The Department of Public Works is continually maintaining the sewer and water infrastructure of the Village. Similarly, private homeowners face the financial responsibility of maintaining their private domestic water and sanitary service lines. The National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program, as administered by Utility Service Partners, Inc., has proposed a marketing agreement with the Village to advertise sewer and water service line warranties to our residents. Under the agreement, the Village will grant a three year non- exclusive license (“License”), with option yearly renewals thereafter, for to use Village’s name and logo on letterhead, bills and marketing materials to be sent to Residential Property Owners from time to time, and to be used in advertising, all at SLWA’s sole cost and expense and subject to Village’s prior review and approval. See a typical letter from the Village attached as Exhibit B. As consideration for the license, the Village will receive a License Fee of Fifty-Cents ($.50) for each month a Warranty shall be in force (and for which payment is received by SLWA) for a Residential Property Owner (“License Fee”) during the term of this Agreement.

The warranty program allows a resident the option to purchase a sewer service warranty for $7.75 per month or $88 annually (a $5 savings for paying annually vs. monthly) that would cover any repair from the Village’s main sewer until it daylights under the concrete floor. Additionally, a resident could purchase a water service warranty for $5.75 per month or $64 annually (a $5 savings for paying annually vs. monthly) that would cover any repair from the Village’s water shut off valve (b-box) until it daylights under the concrete floor. The limit of both coverages is $4,000 unless the repair is in the street, where an additional $4,500 of coverage is added.

This Warranty Program is intended to cover only single family residential homes. It is not intended to cover Commercial, Industrial, Cooperative Homes, or multi-unit dwellings. Any of those entities may negotiate separate agreements if they choose. Additionally, it should be noted that many single family homes share a portion of the sanitary service with their neighbor. In cases where both homeowners purchase a sanitary sewer warrantee [sic], parts of the shared service could be considered “double covered”. This is not ideal but is a situation that cannot be avoided.

The insurance program would only cover single family residential homes, according to Mayor Ostenburg. None of these programs cover co-ops or other multi-family units in the United States, Ostenburg told eNews Park Forest.

Co-ops and other multi-family properties would have to negotiate their own insurance rates.