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Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange PURE to Offer Comprehensive Property and Casualty Insurance in Illinois

March 4, 2011

WHITE PLAINS, NY - April 5, 2011, Ross Buchmueller, president and chief executive officer with PURE Risk Management LLC, today announced the expansion of Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE), a member-owned reciprocal insurer, to offer high quality, customized property and casualty insurance coverage to responsible owners of well-built, high-value homes in Illinois. Through its multiple policy lines (home, automobile, jewelry, art, personal liability and watercraft), PURE expects to provide affordable, comprehensive insurance solutions to successful individuals and families throughout the state.

A New Option for Families That Have Outgrown Standard Insurers

The Illinois insurance market has traditionally been dominated by household names that are represented by “exclusive agents.” Although more than 80 companies offer homeowners insurance in Illinois, the top six hold more than 70% of the market share in Illinois, compared to about 47% in the United States. These companies typically offer standard coverage and service options designed for the majority of the population, but do not cater to the unique needs of families with significant assets including larger, more expensive homes. Thousands of successful Illinois families do not have sufficient liability protection and are protecting their extraordinary homes with ordinary coverage, either because they’re unaware that broader, “specialist” coverage options are available through an independent agent, or because they perceive specialist coverage to be too expensive.

“PURE is delighted to serve the Illinois market because we recognize that successful individuals and families want access to coverage and service that is specifically tailored to meet their needs,” said Buchmueller, who founded AIG Private Client Group and served as its president until 2006 when he and his partners established PURE. “Simply put, many homeowners in Illinois have outgrown their insurers. They may have too little coverage, and it’s possible that they are paying uncompetitive rates. As a specialist insurer dedicated to serving owners of high-value homes, PURE’s risk management experts and select group of independent agent partners are equipped to accurately assess the value of homes, evaluate the unique insurance needs of the affluent and develop affordable, customized solutions.”

Helping Consumers Make Smarter Decisions, Save Money

The recent state income tax increase is one more reason that many Illinois homeowners are looking for ways to cut their expenses and save money. PURE is committed to helping its members make smarter decisions. For example, PURE’s online Member Advice Center provides an easy, interactive way for homeowners to assess whether they may have outgrown their current insurer. Successful families often overlook the need for additional liability coverage and PURE’s interactive liability benchmarking tool helps prospective members evaluate how much coverage they may need and its likely cost. Other tools, like PURE’s Deductible Benchmark, calculate the real savings PURE members have realized by adjusting deductibles on their policies.

Distinctive Alignment with Policyholders

As a policyholder-owned company, PURE is managed for the benefit of its members (policyholders). This alignment of interests with members often results in lower annual premiums, a significant advantage in markets that have been impacted by rising insurance rates. “We aim to charge the right price for insurance,” said Buchmueller, “not the highest.” Since PURE began writing policies in 2007, members have reported an average annual savings of more than $3,200 on their insurance premiums. As part of PURE’s capital management strategy, PURE allocates surplus to notional accounts in the name of each member. For 2010, PURE allocated $1,000,000 to Subscriber Savings Accounts.

Greater alignment has also motivated PURE to develop innovative risk management services to help its members better protect their property. PURE’s risk management department is dedicated to identifying the causes of major losses, sharing its findings with members, and providing recommendations and solutions to help members prevent future losses. The company will contribute $2,500 to cover the cost of implementing loss-mitigation measures to prevent the recurrence of certain types of losses. PURE also performs risk appraisals to pinpoint areas within members’ homes where claims may occur and then facilitates arrangements to address those problem areas.

About PURE

PURE refers to Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, a member insurer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. PURE and the PURE Group of Insurance Companies serve 10,000 members who enjoy the security of almost $100 million of surplus capital. In addition to Illinois, PURE currently serves members in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arizona, Maryland, Washington D.C., New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Texas. Licensed in 37 markets, PURE provides coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability and watercraft to successful individuals and families. PURE is a member-owned reciprocal insurer and is rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. 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

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Editor's Notes: Interviews with PURE's executives, agents and members may be coordinated Copies of the A.M Best Company report are available

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. Actual savings, if any, will vary.