Mailer quoting Giuliani targets Indy water-line woes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A company quoting the expertise of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is targeting Indianapolis as part of a nationwide campaign to sell insurance for home water line repairs.

HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp., headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., mailed postcards last week to local homeowners with the headline "Water service line information for Indianapolis homeowners."

With an ominous black-and-white photo of a backhoe tearing up a residential front yard, Guiliani is quoted on the front of the mailer as saying, "Failing water systems can quickly become a very real threat to homeowners."

water line mailer Giuliani 15colThe front of the mailer quotes Rudy Giuliani, alongside a photo of a residential yard under siege by a backhoe

The mail alert cautions that the nation's water-service lines are deteriorating at a dangerous rate, potentially leaving homeowners on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs for lines between public mains and their homes.

HomeServe’s notice cites a report by Giuliani Partners, a private consulting business Rudy Giuliani started in 2002. Giuliani Partners'  report states 45 percent of water pipes in the U.S. are in “poor shape,” up from 10 percent in the 1980s, among other findings.

In fine print, the mailer refers to Guiliani Partners as "an advisor to HomeServe." The eight-page study says that Guiliani Partners and HomeServe are "working together" to educate homeowners on water-line issues.

A spokeswoman for Giuliani Partners did not respond to questions from IBJ on Wednesday about the firm's relationship with HomeServe.

A spokeswoman for HomeServe said in an email to IBJ that Indianapolis was not being singled out for the warning: “[These issues] are indicative of similar issues emerging in cities and towns across the U.S. as the water and sewer infrastructure ages."

The spokeswoman declined to reveal which other cities were targeted by HomeServe with the mailing.

Beyond the warnings, HomeServe hawks its insurance services and asks recipients to look for additional information in their mailboxes after May 30.

The Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor has seen an increase in the past few years in advertisements pitching “line protection plans,” said agency spokesman Anthony Swinger. In fact, some utilities offer them, including Citizens Energy Group in Indianapolis.

Make sure to read the fine print on these types of advertisements, Swinger advised.

“The advice we’d give to someone considering this is the same advice we’d give a consumer considering any utility line protection plan,” Swinger said. “Look it over carefully and make an informed decision.”

The mailer specifically notes that HomeServe is separate from and independent of any utility companies.

Indeed, aging water and sewer lines are in issue in Indianapolis. Citizens Energy recently received state approval to increase its rates to cover infrastructure upgrades for both its water and wastewater divisions. And Indiana-American Water filed in March to raise its rates.

A representative for Citizens Energy said the utility had no comment on HomeServe's mailer or services.


  • Change Not Favorable to Homeowners??
    I don't know if this is a fact, but a plumber told me Citizen's Energy changed how much it covers to less, of course, of a broken water line on homeowner's property. If this is accurate, it's even more expensive than it was.
  • water lines
    Why do you keep calling it insurance coverage? If so, must be approved by the department of insurance and hope Sir Rudy is not violation solicitation of insurance laws.
  • Better Reporting
    IBJ should do some research to add practical and objective information to this article. For instance, does a homeowners policy cover water related problems outside the home? You will find out this exposure is, most likely, not covered. So this solicitation may actually be a practical solution to an uninsured program. It sounds more scary to me to have this type of loss and have no coverage. Here is some information regarding the issue. http://thelawdictionary.org/article/will-a-homeowners-insurance-policy-cover-a-busted-water-main/

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.