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posted: 11/12/2012 6:00 AM

Elgin firm president aims to make deposit boxes more secure

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  • Lisa Caradine

      Lisa Caradine

  • Daniel P. Kelly

      Daniel P. Kelly

  • David Friederick

      David Friederick

  • John O'Neill

      John O'Neill

  • Don Gingold

      Don Gingold

  • Erika McCann

      Erika McCann

  • Timothy Alexander

      Timothy Alexander

  • Michael Stanley

      Michael Stanley

  • Mark Mason, left, Jerry Pluard, and Mike Bolahan, of Safe Deposit Box Insurance LLC.

       Mark Mason, left, Jerry Pluard, and Mike Bolahan, of Safe Deposit Box Insurance LLC.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Jerry Pluard, left, and Norman Leve of Safe Deposit Box Insurance LLC in Elgin.

       Jerry Pluard, left, and Norman Leve of Safe Deposit Box Insurance LLC in Elgin.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

A certified public accountant and a lawyer, Jerry Pluard of Barrington spent 25 years in the insurance industry. He, like a lot of other consumers, didn't realize that the contents of a safe-deposit box weren't insured by banks or the FDIC in the case of theft, flood, fire or other problem.

So he questioned what the point was of keeping something safe and secure, when in reality, it totally wasn't. He thought.

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He came up with a plan and has a hearing at the patent office on Wednesday. He's seeking a patent on the new concept while working on getting his new company, SafeDepositBoxInsurance.com, registered and authorized in every state so he can sell the new insurance product. So far, the Elgin-based company is licensed and authorized to do business in 16 states.

"We're hoping to protect the concept to insure without knowing what's inside," Pluard said.

The renter of the safe deposit box assigns a value to the contents and then insures it based on that declaration. No proof is required, which upholds the privacy that is ensured with safe deposit boxes, he said.

Pluard, who is president of the company, is partners with Norman Leve of St. Louis, and their firm has received venture capital. AmTrust Group in New York is the underwriter.

So far, he said he's working with about a half-dozen banks in the suburbs, including Lisle Savings Bank, BMO Harris and West Suburban Bank. So far, the firm has insured about 20 customers in Illinois, Texas, Michigan and New Jersey.

"Each year, an average of 20 to 30 bank burglaries involving safe deposit boxes and floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other events that damage banks and credit unions place the contents in the safe deposit box at risk," he said.

5th year for Geneva sweet toothers

Elaine Swedun and Nancy Cornwall are marking the 5th anniversary of their store, The Latest Crave Cupcake Shop in Geneva, with celebrations this week. The Latest Crave began as a wholesaler of English toffee and later developed into Geneva's first cupcake shop in November 2008, where its menu now features about 30 original cupcake flavors, along with homemade pies and frosting shots.

New exec at Advocate

Lisa Caradine is the new vice president of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Children's Hospital, part of Oak Brook-based Advocate Health Care. She will develop, execute and manage the brand strategy for Advocate Children's Hospital in partnership with the system.

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Laura Tiernan has joined Cary-based Paxem Inc. in its new office in Lake Zurich as a customer service consultant. She had been living in Hawaii with her husband while he served in the Navy. She returned to Illinois this year after her husband retired from the Navy after 20 years.

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Daniel P. Cawley was awarded Realtor of the Year by Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors. Cawley has been an active member of the real estate community in the Chicagoland area since 1985. He started Downers Grove-based Cawley Chicago Real Estate in 1998. ... Bonny Thomas was promoted to Visa manager at Waukegan-based Consumers Credit Union. Replacing Thomas as the branch manager in the Mundelein office was Jim Eisert, formerly the counter service manager at CCU's Waukegan office. Jennifer Wenckowski replaced Eisert in Waukegan, resulting in the promotion of Anissa Ivy, as the new counter service manager in the Gurnee office.

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•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to akukec@dailyherald.com. Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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