State law (click here to see the law) requires cities to notify homeowners in their community about public vs. private ownership of water and sewer lines. It was the intent of the Orem City Council not only to notify but to also let citizens know what options they have to protect themselves from potential liabilities.
In addition to the City’s legal requirements, the City of Orem historically received an abundance of calls from homeowners who had a break in their water or sewer lines connecting their home to the water/sewer line in the road. Most of these homeowners didn’t realize that they are responsible for their lateral sewer and water line repairs. They believed those breaks were the city’s responsibility, but that wasn’t the case. The City wanted to be proactive in helping homeowners prepare and/or protect themselves against these large expenses.
As we researched what other cities did to address this growing problem, we learned about these partnerships that many communities have entered into. In these partnerships, the claim denial rates are very low, in the case of Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) less than 1%, and the price is much cheaper than what is offered outside of these partnerships.
We agree that at first glance it seems out of place and odd for a City to be involved. However, we were getting many calls from residents that are being blindsided by these repairs, and we want to do our best to educate residents about this responsibility before the break happens.
This partnership does not prevent other companies from marketing their service to residents.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. There is no “kick-back” to the City. In fact, SLWA offered the City a commission to offset some of the cost in administering the program. Rather than take the commission, the city asked that the company reduce the price to the residents by the equivalent amount. SLWA agreed.
Yes. If you would like to be removed they can call the number 1-844-257-8795. This number is listed on the back of the letter in the FAQs.
SLWA used a third party to get the land records of properties in Orem, the same way other companies soliciting their services do.
There are only a few companies in the Country that enter into these types of partnerships. Local agents that we spoke with said that they were not able to enter into this type of a partnership.
The City went through a competitive bid so that any company interested in this type of partnership could compete (we met with three companies). Ultimately, SLWA offered the lowest price, best coverage, extremely low claim-denial rates, and had extensive experience with these partnerships. They currently have this same arrangement with 300+ other communities around North America.
This product does not negate any other company from marketing their service to residents.
No. This product does not cover sewer laterals or water lines that are shared by multiple units. If you do not live in a single-family home, please determine if your sewer lateral or water line is shared with other units before enrolling. If someone does enroll and is determined later to be ineligible, all premiums paid will be reimbursed to the homeowner.
No. If a homeowner chooses to get this service, they enter into an agreement directly with SLWA, not the City of Orem.
SLWA has created a list of local-area qualified contractors that complete all of the work. Although the premiums are paid to an out-of-state company, the work is performed by companies that are in our community.