ATLANTA — Assurant Specialty Property, a provider of creditor-placed homeowners insurance, auto collateral protection insurance and related services, announced plans to establish a second service center in Duluth, Ga.

The new facility will be used to accommodate the company's growing auto collateral protection insurance business and vehicle title tracking operations.

The company also operates service centers in Springfield, Ohio, Florence, S.C., and Santa Ana and Tustin, Calif.

The new center will be located in a former call center at 2975 Breckinridge Blvd. Assurant Specialty Property has signed a seven-year lease for the 70,000-square-foot facility and includes parking for about 700 vehicles.

Assurant Specialty Property's other Duluth service center has operated at 2405 Commerce Ave. since 1999. Due to the growth of the creditor-placed insurance and auto collateral protection businesses employment at the current Duluth service center has increased over the past year from about 600 to more than 1,100.

"Our forecasts for the businesses supported by the Duluth center are for continued growth," said Gary Turner, senior vice president for operations and customer service. "The Breckinridge facility will enable us to accommodate that growth in a more orderly fashion."

Turner said approximately 150 jobs now located at the current Duluth center and at the company's headquarters offices at 260 Interstate North Circle in Cobb County will move into the new center during the first quarter of 2009. The new center will have the capacity to accommodate up to 650 employees.

Miachel Lawson, vice president for service center operations, said the Duluth center is currently hiring to support ongoing operations. It has about 40 open jobs in various areas, including customer service, mailroom, loss draft administration, loan processing and management.

Assurant Specialty Property is part of Assurant and provides hazard and flood insurance tracking, escrow disbursement, loss draft tracking and other hazard insurance-related customer service to mortgage lenders and their customers, as well as complete collateral coverage and title tracking services for auto lenders.