Art of Aging: Protection plans for major home repairs

Owning a home, for some, is considered the American dream. But when major repairs arise it can be tough, not only for seniors on a fixed income but also for the people who care for them.

A few months ago Larry Boone received a letter about a water main problem at his mother's residence.

"And there is no water on at the house. There's a shut-off notice from the city of Philadelphia," said Boone, a customer of American Water Resources.

Boone is the primary caretaker for his 87-year-old mother, Jean, who is in the later stages of dementia.

"It just made things a little difficult for a period of time. There's a lot of things you need water for. You don't realize it until you don't have any access to it," added Boone.

And with the shut-off notice, Boone learned that repairs were the homeowner's responsibility.

"It's a horrible situation. People just don't have that kind of disposable income," said Boone.

Fortunately, he'd enrolled his mother in a service line protection plan from American Water Resources and it turned out to be just in the nick of time.

"I called them immediately and it was all done within a week," added Boone.

In the last six months, American Water Resources says it has saved Philadelphia customers more than a million dollars in repair costs.

Vice-President of American Water Resources Douglas Brand said, "We are very excited to be partnered with the Philadelphia Energy Authority to offer water line and sewer line warranty programs."

The protection plan is available to residents across the Delaware Valley

"So what's covered with the warranty is your water line and your sewer line which are the two lines that run from the foundation of your home all the way out into the street," said Brand.

The plan also covers concrete sidewalk restoration and lawn reseeding if needed.
"Because they did everything they said they were going to do, plus it's definitely worth the peace of mind because you never know what's going to happen," said Boone.
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