The Loss Prevention Partnerships program (LPP), a demonstration project of the NeighborWorks® National Insurance Task Force (NITF), has reached its midway point with tangible results. The LPP’s goal is to educate homeowners about home safety and reduce insurance risk.
Five cities are participating in the program, each focusing on a specific peril: Chicago and St. Louis, fire; Staten Island, water damage; Richmond and Denver, home theft and burglary. The demonstration program includes an educational component in which residents are informed of ways to protect their investment and guard themselves against potential losses. Additionally, each site finances home-safety improvements for residents within targeted communities who need repairs and/or improvements to their properties. The LPP entails three years of programmatic activity, with an additional two years of data collection.
During the first half of the data collection period, the program has accomplished the following:
*Educated 2,280 individuals in home safety seminars;
*Conducted 839 home safety evaluations (home inspections);
*Made 314 loans and grants;
*Granted or loaned $1.66 million for home safety.
“This pilot program has done a lot to strengthen relationships between insurers and community residents,” said NITF Director Todd Pittman. Insurers have become more involved in the communities, and residents’ views of insurers have changed for the better.”
Seventy-seven percent of residents surveyed said their perceptions of the insurance industry had improved after receiving insurance education through the LPP. Eighty-nine percent of seminar graduates have taken steps to improve the overall safety of their homes, and most of those plan to take additional steps.
“Insurers have come to feel more confident serving economically riskier neighborhoods when they are aware of the presence of a NeighborWorks® organization or other community development corporation that works with residents to improve their communities,” said Clayton Adams, vice president of community development for State Farm Insurance Companies and NITF chair. “Reluctance to insure gives way to opportunities to penetrate new markets.”
The program, which is conducted in partnership among NeighborWorks® community development organizations and insurance representatives, is funded by the Ford Foundation, insurance companies and Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. Due to the success of the program, the NITF plans to expand it to other sites.