WHITE PLAINS, NY - March 31, 2009 - Ross Buchmueller, president and chief executive officer with PURE Risk Management LLC, today announced the expansion of Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) to offer comprehensive, customized property and casualty insurance coverage for owners of high-value homes in New York. The specialty insurer is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best, a leading independent insurance ratings agency.
In addition to homeowners' insurance, PURE provides automobile, jewelry, art, personal excess liability and watercraft coverage tailored to fit the unique needs of its members (policyholders). PURE is an admitted insurance company whose products and prices are regulated by the New York State Insurance Department.
"PURE recognizes that homeowners today are seeking smarter financial alternatives and access to the right insurance coverage, and as a specialist insurer that carefully selects its members and runs the company for its members' benefit, PURE can meet those needs and provide significant insurance savings, higher quality coverage and superior service," said Buchmueller, who founded AIG Private Client Group and served as its president until 2006 when he and his partners established PURE. "By providing customized coverage options and not imposing mandatory hurricane deductibles, PURE will provide cost-effective flexibility not easily found in today's New York insurance market."
Added Buchmueller: "We're delighted to welcome New Yorkers to PURE's membership, and we expect our strategy for providing superior coverage will appeal to owners of high-value homes, particularly in New York's downstate counties and especially in Long Island. We look forward to continuing our expansion to serve other parts of the U.S."
Compared with New York's largest insurer of high-valued homes, PURE expects to provide New Yorkers with savings of 25% or more. In 2007, PURE's members in Florida reported average savings of $4,700 on their annual insurance premiums. In 2008, when the company expanded to South Carolina, its members in that market reported average annual savings of $2,700. PURE earned its reputation by selectively providing insurance, including windstorm coverage, for several thousand Florida families and individuals who had taken significant steps to protect their million- dollar homes from hurricane damage. The company has grown to become a market leader for insuring large, well-built homes in such communities as Hilton Head Island and Kiawah, S.C.
PURE provides significant insurance benefits not offered by other providers. Highlights include:
- In response to a growing trend of people storing more cash at home, PURE has increased to $10,000 the coverage available for money that's stolen from a home safe.
- Unlike her insurers, in addition to covering the costs to repair or replace damaged property, PURE will contribute up to $2,500 to help prevent large losses from recurring and to control the long-term cost of risk.
- For example, if a lightning strike causes an electrical surge and damages electrical appliances valued at $10,000 or more, PURE may cover the replacement of the appliances and install a lightning-suppression system to help prevent similar incidents.
- PURE will insure luxury condominium and cooperative units in New York City with personal property limits of $1 million or greater. PURE will pay up to $25,000 for damage caused to a neighboring unit, even if the PURE member is not legally liable.
Other unique features that have attracted members include:
- Flexible coverage limits and options for deductibles
- PURE will cover the cost to rebuild or replace damaged property with environmentally friendly materials or appliances.
"We are excited for the opportunity to introduce PURE's unique solutions to families on the East End, and we believe our clients will love the idea of an insurer with excellent financial strength that manages its business for the benefit of its policyholders," said Chris McDonald, a principal with Amaden Gay Agencies in East Hampton, N.Y., an independent insurance agency that specializes in personal insurance for high-net-worth individuals and families.
As a reciprocal insurance exchange, PURE is member-owned. Members pay a surplus contribution of 10% of their high-value homeowners' premium and 4% of their premium for all other policies, for each of the first five years of membership. PURE and the PURE Group of Insurance Companies serve more than 3,200 members who enjoy the security of approximately $100 million of surplus capital, fueled in part by these contributions. PURE has been awarded licenses in New Jersey and Connecticut and will soon begin accepting new members in those states.
PURE refers to Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, a member insurer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. Licensed in six states, PURE provides coverage for high-valued homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability and watercraft to successful individuals and families. PURE is a member-owned reciprocal insurer and has been rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. PURE is committed to helping its members reduce the price of insurance today while controlling the long-term cost of risk. PURE Risk Management LLC serves as the attorney-in-fact for PURE. For more information, visit www.pureinsurance.com.
Interviews with PURE's executives and policyholders available upon request
Policyholder surplus estimates as of 12/31/2008
Annual premium savings based on all members who reported prior carrier premium
This material is descriptive only. The precise coverage offered is subject to the terms and conditions of the policies issued. The rights and responsibilities of members are subject to the Subscriber's Agreement and Power of Attorney. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.