Nov 13, 2023 - News

Water Works' partner HomeServe has faced multiple legal challenges

Illustration of a hand holding a gavel over water

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

HomeServe USA, a leading provider of home repair solutions, offers water line protection plans to Des Moines Water Works customers, but in other states the company has been repeatedly accused of misleading customers or violating consumer protection laws.

Driving the news: HomeServe entered into settlement agreements in at least six states following those allegations between 2010 and 2015.

  • The company did not admit to wrongdoing as part of the settlements.

The big picture: The utility's customers paid more than $2.6 million in HomeServe water line protection premiums in 2022, but an Axios Des Moines review found they may in some cases be an unnecessary expense.

What they're saying: The previous allegations have been resolved, company spokesperson Myles Meehan tells Axios.

  • HomeServe changed its marketing materials shortly after the questions arose and completed a review with the Better Business Bureau as part of an accreditation process, he said.

Meanwhile, the company denies allegations linked to a former electrical protection plan in Kansas it marketed that resulted in an $850,000 settlement about a year ago, per Meehan.

  • The settlement contained no finding of a violation, and the company sought to resolve the matter to avoid legal expenses, he said.

By the numbers: HomeServe has about 36,000 customers within the Des Moines Water Works service area, including those who purchase other types of warranties not billed by the utility such as in-home plumbing and water heater protection plans.

  • Meehan says the company has saved its DSM metro customers about $18 million in out-of-pocket repairs.
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