Startup takes new tack in insuring high-price coastal homes

03/6/2007 | NYTimes.com

A new insurance nonprofit is basing its business model on selling insurance only to owners of large, expensive houses on Florida's coast. Ross J. Buchmueller says his Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange covers only newer, solidly built homes worth more than $1 million. The company is owned by policyholders, and Buchmueller's compensation comes from a management fee. But some industry experts are skeptical. "It's a creative approach," says Michael Koziol, a public policy specialist at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, "but like any new company, there's a certain risk. More new companies go under than old companies."

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