Art of Aging: Warranty protection for senior homeowners

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many senior homeowners have a fear of frozen pipes and related problems with winter on the horizon, but a new program is aimed to help protect seniors on fixed incomes.

John Coats lives in a row home in West Oak Lane. Two years ago, his neighbor had to deal with a broken water line.

"...she thought her homeowner's insurance would cover it, and it didn't," he said.

Coats then inquired about warranty programs for water and sewer. He found a reasonable price at American Water Resources or AWR. One year later, that protection came in handy.

"I had raw sewage back into my basement, and within 24 hours my line was fixed and the problem was resolved," said Coats.

AWR's is now partnering with the Philadelphia Energy Authority to offer protection plans for as low as eight dollars a month, with no deductibles or service fees.

Lauren Slepian, Communications Manager, American Water Resources said, "It covers anything due to normal wear and tear. It could be tree root invasion, bulges or cracks, burst lines."

And the warranty guarantees that the property is returned to its previous condition, even repairing patios and greenery when necessary.

"I think I'm their biggest PR person in this area because I'm telling all my seniors and neighbors, 'you want to get this program. You really do. It's really cheap, and it's really feasible," said Coats.

The program is available to all homeowners in Philadelphia, regardless of age or income.

"The low monthly price is very attractive to seniors because it offers them peace of mind," said Slepian.

"I encourage all seniors to get involved," said Coats.

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