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A Million In One: Insurer Focuses On High-End Market

South Florida CEO - 05/07/07 By Elias Lopez

Own an expensive home? A new South Florida property insurer says it may be able to lower your premium, and also insure your car and jewelry collection.

Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange Risk Management LLC (PURE) recently began writing policies. It covers homes insured for more than $1 million that meet the latest building standards, such as storm-resistant windows and shutters. The company will also cover car collections, jewelry, art and other luxury items.

Founder Ross Buchmueller, a former president of AIG Private Client Group, says the company plans to accept 2,500 high-net-worth clients this year. There should be plenty of customers looking for coverage: state-run insurer Citizens will likely be required to drop more than 3,000 high-valued homes after July 1, 2008.

Pure's policyholders will own the firm, paying a surplus one-time contribution equal to 50 percent of their first-year premiums for their homeowner's insurance policies, and 20 percent of their first-year premiums for other policies.

"This structure allows for a mechanism to return the balance when the premiums exceed the cost of the claims and expenses," Buchmueller says. "On an ongoing basis, you will get deposits on a subscriber's savings account." He says the customers who do not renew their policies will receive their balance back.

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