Derby collects money from water, sewer line insurance

The city of Derby has received nearly $29,500 in commissions since 2013 from water and sewer line insurance offered to residents by a company authorized to use the city’s official logo in letters to customers.

Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) provides insurance for exterior lines on private property. That portion of lines is a property owner’s responsibility – not the city’s. SLWA partners with the National League of Cities and in Kansas, works with Derby and 10 other cities. Those are Dodge City, Edwardsville, El Dorado, Garden City, Hillsboro, Hutchinson, Marion, Ottawa, Prairie Village and Roeland Park.

Derby receives a 10 percent commission on policies sold by SLWA, said city spokeswoman Kristy Bansemer. There are 392 active sewer line program policies and 247 active water line program policies in Derby, she said. Some customers carry both policies.

Residents receive letters from SLWA that initially look like they are from the city. The Derby logo appears on the return address visible in clear envelope windows, which also include the words “Response requested.”

“People have expressed concern about the use of the logo” on the Derby community watch page on Facebook, Bansemer said.

But the city gave SLWA its permission because the company offers a “very affordable insurance program,” she said. Many people don’t know or understand that they are responsible for sections of water and sewer lines, she said. The insurance is voluntary.

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