NYPIUA Notes Third Year of Grant Program to Help Policyholders Reduce Electrical Hazards

January 5, 2005

The New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA) will reportedly assist their policyholders reduce electrical hazards in 2005 through a matching funds program.

The program, which commenced in January 2003, has helped hundreds of urban property owners repair, improve and update the electrical systems in their homes by providing them with new electrical panels to stop blowing fuses, new outlets to eliminate extension cords and new wiring for appliances.

NYPIUA matches qualified applicants dollar for dollar, up to $1,500, to make electrical improvements. By the end of 2004, NYPIUA contributed more than $200,000 to qualified homeowners and additional funds have been approved for 2005.

The idea for the grant program grew out of a study of NYPIUA fire claims which showed that nearly 25 percent of residential fires were caused by old or faulty electrical wiring.

“Through a variety of educational programs, NYPIUA is committed to helping its policyholders identify and eliminate electrical hazards in their homes,” said Joseph Calvo, president, NYPIUA. “We are hopeful that this program will continue to expand, enabling more people to protect their lives and property from fires by making necessary repairs and improvements to their electrical systems.”

“And the good news about this program is spreading,” added Calvo. Responses to this year’s program more than doubled the responses received in 2003.

“The New York State Insurance Department believes this initiative is an innovative, cost-effective way to protect life and property. Fire prevention is one of this agency’s highest priorities and I’m glad NYPIUA shares that commitment,” said Superintendent of Insurance Gregory Serio.

The grant program is just part of NYPIUA’s ongoing public education program. The association sends out fire safety videos and guides to agents and policyholders. Most recently, it offered a free fire safety checklist, “Safe at Home,” to help consumers identify some of these potential hazards and suggested actions to correct them.

NYPIUA was created in 1968 to provide basic property insurance to people experiencing difficulty in obtaining insurance in the voluntary market. The association’s members include every licensed property insurer authorized to write in New York State.

More information on the grant program, fire safety material and other ways NYPIUA responds to the varied needs of the insuring public is available at www.nypiua.com or by contacting NYPIUA at 100 William Street, New York, N.Y., 10038; (212) 208-9898.

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