Travelers, Habitat for Humanity Join Forces to Develop Communities, Build Safer Homes in Coastal Regions

  Travelers, Habitat for Humanity Join Forces to Develop Communities, Build
  Safer Homes in Coastal Regions

   Company to Sponsor the Construction of Fortified Homes with IBHS Experts

Business Wire

HARTFORD, Conn. -- November 19, 2012

The Travelers Foundation, the charitable division of The Travelers Companies,
Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today announced a new initiative with Habitat for Humanity
International and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to
invest in the resilience of local communities by building affordable,
wind-resistant homes in coastal regions of the United States.

“As an insurer, Travelers has seen firsthand the destruction to homes,
businesses and infrastructure caused by extreme wind events, such as
hurricanes and tornadoes, and the disruptions to families and businesses that
result,” said Eric M. Nelson, Travelers’ Vice President of Enterprise
Catastrophe and Analysis. “Travelers believes the risk to life and property
can be reduced by constructing more resilient homes, developing sound disaster
preparedness plans, improving sensible land use planning and enhancing
building codes.”

As part of $500,000 in grants provided by the Travelers Foundation in 2012,
Travelers sponsored eight pilot Habitat for Humanity builds, which are now
underway in Alabama and Mississippi. These homes were constructed in
accordance with IBHS’ FORTIFIED construction standards and additional
fortified builds are planned in various coastal markets through 2013 and
beyond. These construction practices provide practical, meaningful upgrades to
strengthen new, as well as existing, structures. Travelers is also funding the
development of IBHS training programs and materials to support Habitat
affiliates’ efforts to build safer, wind-resistant homes in partnership with
low-income families.

“For more than 150 years, Travelers has worked to ensure that millions of
Americans are protected when things go wrong,” said Marlene Ibsen, Vice
President of Community Relations and CEO of the Travelers Foundation. “In that
vein, we are proud to support the Habitat organization both financially and
through our large base of employee volunteers in this important endeavor.”

“Our partnership with Travelers, supported by IBHS and its FORTIFIED program,
helps local Habitat affiliates develop neighborhoods with affordable housing
built to withstand increasingly unpredictable weather,” said Lysa Ratliff,
Senior Director of Corporate Programs at Habitat for Humanity International.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Travelers to create affordable
housing that addresses specific needs in coastal communities.”

Building stronger homes is a key principle of the Travelers Coastal Wind Zone
Plan, the company’s proposal to improve the availability and affordability of
windstorm insurance for homeowners in communities along the Gulf and Atlantic
coasts. At a 2010 symposium in Mobile, Ala., on “Mitigation Strategies for the
Alabama Coastal Region,” Travelers announced a new wind credit for fortified
homes to encourage homeowners, builders and building officials to adopt these
disaster resistant standards. The company also donated $15,000 to Habitat for
Humanity of Baldwin County at the event, which helped set the stage for the
partners’ new initiative to build safer homes.

IBHS FORTIFIED Program Manager Fred Malik noted that, “IBHS is proud to
partner with Travelers and Habitat for Humanity to build stronger, safer
homes. Our partnership demonstrates that you can build affordable homes that
incorporate the highest level of disaster-resistant design and construction.”

Builds began in Fairhope, Ala., in the summer of 2012 and will continue in key
coastal regions throughout 2013. The new program builds on Travelers’ 20-year
history of supporting Habitat’s mission:

  *Travelers and Habitat for Humanity established a national relationship to
    support Travelers volunteer builds in 2002, and Travelers’ local support
    dates back to 1994.
  *Since 1994, Travelers has provided nearly $5 million in support of
  *In 2011, Travelers and the Travelers Foundation granted more than $600,000
    to help Habitat create affordable housing in partnership with low-income
    families across the U.S., and approximately 2,000 employees were engaged
    as Habitat volunteers.
  *This year, Travelers employees participated in approximately 35 builds
    across the United States, and $250,000 of the $500,000 of Travelers
    Foundation grants to Habitat in 2012 supported the fortified project.

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property
casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones
Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated
revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2011. The company provides support
for charitable organizations in the community through the Travelers Foundation
and with corporate funding. The company’s community giving is focused on
education, community development and the arts. Travelers employees are
consistently active in community initiatives and perform thousands of hours in
volunteer time each year. For more information, visit

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing
organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people
together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served
more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and
nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for
fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to
resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more
information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit, follow
us at or at or join
Habitat’s blog community at

About IBHS
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.


Ashley Maagero, 860-277-2954
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