Assurant Group to Build New Hazard Service Center in S.C.

February 18, 2003

The Assurant Group announced plans to build a $14 million office complex for its flood and hazard insurance tracking center in Florence, S.C. and to create about 560 new jobs over the next two years.

The new service center would consist of two 50,000 square foot one-story buildings that Assurant would build and own in Celebration Centre, a new office park being developed off West Palmetto Street (Route 76) in Florence. While the project’s location has been and remains contingent on state and county approval of certain financial incentives, Assurant said the company hopes to begin construction within 30 days and move to the new site by yearend.

Headquartered in Atlanta and Miami, Assurant provides flood and hazard insurance tracking services and lender-placed hazard insurance to the U.S. mortgage industry. An existing, smaller-scale Florence service center now located at 1935 Second Loop Road is one of four outsourcing centers operated by the company. The others are in Duluth, Ga., Orange, Calif., and Springfield, Ohio.

“We are very excited about this project and its potential for both the company and the community,” said Michael Tange, a vice president of Assurant and manager of the Florence center. “We are bursting at the seams in our current building. The larger facility and expanded workforce will enable us to significantly increase the portfolio of loans that we can service in Florence.”

Tange said additional factors influencing Assurant’s decision to expand in Florence included the availability of a quality labor pool, competitive labor and construction costs, the support of community leaders and the site’s proximity to a major client. Tange said that the staffing process for the new site would begin in the fall of 2003.

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