ERIE, PA/Sept. 8, 2008 - Erie Insurance and the Greater Erie Area Habitat for Humanity are partnering to build a new home that will earn the Institute for Business & Home Safety's (IBHS) Fortified...for safer living® designation for disaster resistance.
The three-bedroom one-bath home under construction on East 3rd Street will be the first Fortified home in Pennsylvania.
Fortified...for safer living® is the new-home construction designation program sponsored by IBHS, of which Erie Insurance is a founding member. The standards of the Fortified program go beyond building code requirements to increase a home's overall resistance to natural hazards based on its location. The program recently added requirements that reduce the risk of potentially costly problems inside the home, such as water leaks and fire.
"This is Erie Insurance's third Habitat house and we're pleased to go the extra mile to make it the first Fortified home in the state," said Terry Cavanaugh, Erie Insurance president and CEO. "The Fortified program matches up perfectly with Erie Insurance's commitment to safety and security - among our customers as well as the communities in which we live and work."
In Pennsylvania, Fortified guidelines are designed to better safeguard homes primarily against high winds and severe winter weather. Construction features in the Erie Habitat home include:
"We're excited that Erie Insurance initiated earning the Fortified designation," said Nancy Milkowski, executive director of Greater Erie Area Habitat for Humanity.
IBHS launched the Fortified...for safer living® program in October 2000. When this Habitat house is complete, there will be Fortified homes in 14 states.
For more information to help protect your home or business from disasters or more common causes of loss, visit the IBHS Web site www.DisasterSafety.org.
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 16th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written, the 21st largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written, and the no. 3 writer of personal auto insurance and no. 6 writer of home insurance in Virginia.
Erie Insurance, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has over 3.9 million policies in force and operates in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group ranked 488 on the FORTUNE 500. Most recently, Erie Insurance earned J.D. Power and Associates' award for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Purchase Experience." This award recognizes the top rankings in J.D. Power's 2008 Insurance New Buyer Study, which assesses customers' experience in purchasing a new auto insurance policy.
Wendy Rose, IBHS (813) 675-1045,
Vanessa Paris, Erie Insurance (800) 458-0811, x7568
Nancy Milkowski, Erie Habitat for Humanity (814) 454-7025