FAQ’s of Optional Water/Wastewater Warranty Protection Plans Available to Hamilton Homeowners

Who is Service Line Warranties of Canada?
 Service Line Warranties of Canada (“SLWC”) is a private company that provides optional water and/or wastewater warranty plans to homeowners.
 SLWC is an accredited Better Business Bureau organization that has maintained an A+ rating.
 SLWC’s program was established through the City’s procurement process and approved by Hamilton City Council.

Why has the City of Hamilton chosen to work with SLWC to offer warranty Plans?
 To educate residential property owners about their responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and replacement of water and sewer service lines (portion from their homes to the property line) – at no cost to the City.
 To make available to residents optional affordable protection unexpected costs of repairing or replacing non-functioning water and services lines, as well as, broken interior plumbing and drainage systems.
 The City can be assured that all repairs are performed to code and that all appropriate permitting is pulled. Additionally, SLWC only uses qualified local contractors so repair dollars stay within the community helping the local economy.
 Reduce expense to property owners and the City because the Plans encourage residents to report water and sewer leaks in a timely manner. Timely water line repairs conserve water and reduce water loss for the City. Timely sewer line repairs minimize wastewater pollution helping the environment.
 Other cost savings for the City expected with fewer calls and involvement of City personnel regarding infrastructure that is the responsibility of property owners.
 SLWC does offer the City itself compensation for allowing the use of the City logo on the warranty offering letters that homeowners receive. The support of the City alerts residents of the legitimacy of the program resulting in more enrollments, which in turn allows SLWC to offer the warranties at lower prices to residents because of the increased participation. The revenue the City receives helps to keep Hamilton’s water and wastewater/storm rates among the lowest in Ontario.

Are the Warranty Plans considered insurance?
 The Plans are a warranty service plan offered by SLWC as an independent private provider. Although the Plans use terms like “deductible”, “coverage” and “exclusions” the Plans are not insurance, but a contract pledge to arrange a contractor to repair your service lines.

Is this a City Program?
 This is NOT a City program, but rather SLWC is a program partner. As such, SLWC is solely responsible for the administration and service of the warranty programs. The Program was developed through the City’s Procurement Process. Visit the SLWC website at www.SLWofc.ca or call 1-855-326-4730 (toll free) to sign up or get more details about the program.
 A homeowner, who chooses to enroll in this Program, should do so with the understanding that the City in no way warrants or is liable for the work or performance of SLWC. The City wishes to make residents aware of the availability of this product since water and sewer line repairs can be very expensive.

What Warranty Plans are being offered?
 Sewer Line Warranty – Covers the cost of repairing broken, leaking or clogged outside sewer lines
 Water Line Warranty – Covers the cost of repairing broken or leaking outside water lines
 In Home Plumbing & Drainage Warranty – Covers the cost of broken or leaking water or sewer lines inside the house, including drain lines connected to the main sewer stack. This does not cover faucets or fixtures, venting issues or gas lines.

Did the City provide customer info for the marketing letters?
 The City (nor Horizon Utilities) did not sell or otherwise provide resident names or addresses as part of this program. SLWC purchased from a third party a list of city residents and pays for all aspects of the program including marketing, customer service and repairs.

A recap of the new service line program is as follows:

The new service line warranty program is being provided by Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC). SLWC is a private company that provides optional water and/or wastewater warranty plans to homeowners. The program for Hamilton residents was established through the City’s procurement process and approved by Hamilton City Council on April 23, 2014 (GIC meeting of April 16th). SLWC’s parent, Utility Service Partners Inc. is based in the USA with their head office near Pittsburgh. No Canadian based company submitted a bid to the City’s RFP. Full details of the procurement and the related agreement between the City and SLWC can be found in the staff report provided to the General Issues Committee which I’ve attached for your convenience.

In summary, the City has moved forward to work with SLWC to offer optional warranty plans to Hamilton residents for the following reasons:

 To educate residential property owners about their responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and replacement of water and sewer service lines (portion from their homes to the property line) – at no cost to the City as SLWC pays 100% for the letters
 To make available to residents optional affordable protection unexpected costs of repairing or replacing non-functioning water and services lines, as well as, broken interior plumbing and drainage systems.
 The City can be assured that all repairs are performed to the Ontario Building Code and that all appropriate permitting is pulled. Additionally, SLWC only uses qualified local contractors so repair dollars stay within the community helping the local economy.
 Reduce expense to property owners and the City because the Plans encourage residents to report water and sewer leaks in a timely manner. Timely water line repairs conserve water and reduce water loss for the City. Timely sewer line repairs minimize wastewater pollution helping the environment.
 Other cost savings for the City expected with fewer calls and involvement of City personnel regarding infrastructure that is the responsibility of property owners.
 SLWC does offer the City itself compensation for allowing the use of the City logo on the warranty offering letters that homeowners receive. The support of the City via the use of its logo, alerts residents of the legitimacy of the program resulting in more enrollments, which in turn allows SLWC to offer the warranties at lower prices to residents because of the increased participation. The revenue the City receives helps to keep Hamilton’s water and wastewater/storm rates among the lowest in Ontario.