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High-end home insurance company enters Colorado market

March 1, 2013

Colorado Springs Gazette - 04/02/13
By Ned Hunter

A high-end home insurance company looking to expand its nationwide reach has entered the Colorado market.

Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, or PURE insurance, has begun offering home insurance through independent brokers in Colorado Springs and across the state. The insurance company specializes in homes with a replacement cost of $1 million or more, though it sometimes covers lesser valued homes in the $600,000 range, said Ross Buchmueller, chief executive officer for the PURE group of insurance companies.
PURE is a policyholder-owned property/casualty insurer that also offers coverage for automobiles, watercraft, jewelry, art and personal liability, according to an e-mail from the company. PURE began offering coverage in 2007 and has since grown to cover 47 states.

“The company credits underwriting profits back to its membership in the form of subscriber savings accounts,” the e-mail states.

Buchmueller said his company’s expansion into Colorado helps customers in other states that may own vacation homes or rental property here. PURE’s entrance into the Springs market follows last summer’s Waldo Canyon fire, but Buchmueller said the company is not trying to capitalize on fire fears.

“We are aware of the wildfire exposure to the company,” he said, “whether there or in other states.”

Before insuring a home, a PURE representative documents items that could be hard to prove existed after a natural disaster, such as intricately carved, all-oak doors, Buchmueller said.

“Our agents take photos,” he said, “so you don’t have to prove that you had marble floors where all the veins matched.”

PURE offers certain premium reductions, including ones for customers living in potential fire zones who take precautionary measures, such as clearing vegetation, and for customers owning a generator. Generators often allow homeowners to remain in their house after a natural disaster, Buchmueller said, cutting relocation expenses to insurance companies.

“I think if anything,” Buchmueller said, “the recent fires have illustrated the services we provide.”