"I have a client who has a number of homes, including one in which PCG subcontracted to install a water-flow device which is activated when something out of the ordinary occurs, shutting the water off," says Richard Stein, a Denver-based advisor. "A central pipe burst in the house and could have flooded, but ultimately the damage was quite minimal and easily handled. "

The company's wildfire protection unit, now in its fifth year, provides clients in California and Colorado with damage mitigation services. The crew will assess a client's home, examine any hazards and, if necessary, apply a fire retardant around the perimeter of the home.

Similarly, the Private Client Group's hurricane protection unit carries out damage prevention programs in Florida, New York and New Jersey. This component of service reflects the high toll hurricanes have taken on property owners in recent years. Insurance companies have paid an estimated $40.6 billion on 1.7 million claims for damage to homes, businesses and vehicles in six states from Hurricane Katrina, the largest loss in the history of insurance. Nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida, and seven of those top 10 storms occurred in 2004 and 2005.

"In advance of hurricanes, they have protective devices built around heavy art objects," says Gendelman. "What also is important is the day-after team which comes out to a house with equipment to minimize damage. This also helps build loyalty."