City endorsed insurance pitch

Receives payment for each policy purchased

News editor

Many Marion residents received letters last week that appeared to be from the city. They arrived in envelopes with the city’s return address, were printed on what appeared to be city letterhead, and had Mayor Todd Heitschmidt’s signature, endorsing Sewer Line Warranties of America to sell insurance for sewer lines running from homes to the public utility connection.

Despite appearing to be from the city, the letters were in fact mailed by the company, with the city’s blessing. Marion City Council approved endorsing Sewer Line Warranties of America and providing a list of utility customers to the company on Oct. 14.

The city will receive a payment of 50 cents per policy, per month, for policies signed up via the letter, city administrator Roger Holter said Tuesday.

Alex “Casey” Case of Case & Son Insurance said most homeowners’ insurance policies he is familiar with do not cover sewer lines from the house to the city line. They generally only cover the parts of a sewer line that are in the footprint of a home’s foundation.

“That’s sort of a gap in coverage,” he said.

This was not the first round of letters the company has sent, trumpeting the city’s endorsement. Residents received similar letters in December, although they lacked the signature of then-Mayor Mary Olson because of a delay in the city faxing her signature to the company.

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