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New Option for Insurance Enters Strand

The Sun News - 05/14/08
By Jessica Foster

Coastal homeowners have a new insurance option as of this week - as long as their homes are well built and in the million-dollar range.

Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, or PURE, launched in South Carolina on Tuesday. High-end homes that meet the latest building codes will be eligible for the insurance, including wind and hail coverage that is typically more difficult to find in the areas closest to the coast.

The Florida-based company focuses on homes that cost at least $1 million and gives discounts for houses built to be protected against hurricanes.

The company "is based on some very simple ideas that if you can carefully select a group of policyholders whose homes or cars are far better than average, you can provide coverage that many others don't because they're looking at sort of averages," said PURE President and CEO Ross Buchmueller.

The annual premium for a $1 million Myrtle Beach home up to a mile from the ocean would be about $9,700, according to a sampling of rates the company provided. One to five miles from the coast, the annual premium would be about $7,000 for the same home built in 2005 and about $13,300 for one built in 1985.

PURE will also pay up to $2,500 on top of the replacement cost of a claim to help prevent future damage.

The state PURE headquarters is in Charleston and a handful of independent agents are offering coverage on the Grand Strand.

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