Star Democrat - 09/17/10
EASTON--While some well-known insurance companies continue to withdraw from the coastal market, Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) has recently moved into the Maryland market, sensing opportunity in Maryland's waterfront communities.
PURE offers insurance to responsible owners of large, well-built homes typically those that cost more than $1 million to rebuild as well as automobile, watercraft, jewelry and art coverage and personal excess liability policies, according to a press release from PURE.
"We're looking for the most responsible homeowners those who don't make frivolous claims and
are interested in taking a proactive approach to protecting their property against catastrophic events," said Ross Buchmueller, president and CEO of PURE. "Further, our research supports the belief that large, well-built homes typically hold up better in the face of severe weather."
Buchmueller said PURE has created a holistic approach to loss prevention and claim handling that distinguishes the company from competitors, according to the press release.
The focus on selecting responsible members is a key to the success of PURE.
As a reciprocal exchange, PURE is member-owned and run for the benefit of its members,according to the press release. If policyholders are less likely to make claims, premiums can be lower.
For the first five years of membership, members pay a surplus contribution equal to 10 percent of
their first-year premiums for their homeowners and watercraft policies and four percent of first-year premiums for private fleet auto, jewelry and art, and personal excess liability policies, according to the press release.
This allows PURE to keep premiums low with fewer worries of satisfying the demands of outside investors, according to the press release.
"Our process has several core steps: we research every significant loss, determine any underlying causes and share our findings with our entire membership," said Buchmueller, who previously founded AIG Private Client Group and served as its president until 2006, when he and his partners established PURE.
"For the policyholders who have suffered losses, we quickly rectify and repair the damages, make recommendations for preventing the losses from recurring and contribute up to $2,500 to the cost of implementing preventive measures."
PURE relies heavily on the trusted relationships it maintains with its agents, according to the
press release. In Easton, PURE has partnered with The Avon-Dixon Agency.
"One of the most crucial steps in entering a new market is identifying the finest independent agents to represent us," said Robert Collins, senior vice president and general manager of PURE's Mid-Atlantic markets. "Agencies like Avon-Dixon have demonstrated both a thorough understanding of the needs of this niche market, and a proven capability for providing sound guidance and advice to their clients."
Bill Lane, vice president with The Avon-Dixon Agency said, "We're extremely proud of this opportunity to offer PURE's coverage to Maryland's high-net-worth market. Although PURE has only been here for a short time, the company has already delighted a number of my clients with the unique services it offers. We fully expect to grow our agency with new clients attracted
to this exciting model."