Exterior Electrical Insurance

As Penelec/First Energy customers, last year we received a mailer, “Important Information Regarding Your Exterior Electrical System,” informing us that HomeServe USA Repair Management Corp, of Norwalk CT, offers an Exterior Electrical Line Protection Plan. We threw it away, but recently got a second one:

Without this plan, repairs to your exterior electrical system components, including the weatherhead, insulator, riser, meter base and service entrance conductor, can be expensive, costing you hundreds of dollars in unexpected expenses.

To get an idea of what these components look like, here’s a five minute This Old House youtube clip where they install new service.

Weatherhead: $5 to $10 at Home Depot, also called the periscope, it is the rounded cap just above where the overhead service drop lines attach that stops rain or snow melt from dribbling into the conduits.
Riser: the 120V and neutral electrical cables that run from the weatherhead to the meter.
Meter Base, or Meter Socket: $40 to $200, the grey or beige metal meter enclosure. The electrical utility owns the meter itself.
Service Entrance Conductor: the 120V and neutral cables that run between the meter and your main interior electrical panel.

The protection amount is $3,000 Annual Benefit, and the rate is $5.49 per month.

Have you ever had these components serviced? We never have, even when installing a larger panel inside..

Are they worth $3,000? Probably a few hundred dollars in materials.

What could damage them? Perhaps a tree or branch falling on the service drop, or a powerful storm. But HomeServe’s fine print makes it clear that they do not cover damage due to accidents or negligence, only normal wear-and-tear.

The Ripoff Report carries this report about the UK and US arms of HomeServe.

The home emergencies and repairs group HomeServe has been handed a record £30.6m fine for mis-selling insurance policies and mishandling customer complaints.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said staff at the firm had focused on the “quantity not quality” of sales to the detriment of customers, many of whom were vulnerable older people.

HomeServe, which insures more than 2 million people in Britain against burst pipes, broken gas boilers and electrical problems, has been punished for “serious, systemic and long-running failings, extending across many key aspects of its business”. The fine is the largest ever for mis-selling to retail customers in Britain, beating a £28m penalty imposed on Lloyds Banking Group last December.

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