July 13, 2023 by Abode Camp in Blog, Finance, Health, News

Farmers Insurance Pulls Out of Florida

Farmers Insurance pulls out of Florida, affecting 100,000 policyholders

Farmers Insurance will stop offering its policies in Florida, including home, auto and umbrella policies, in a change that will force thousands of people to change their insurance provider.

The company said in a statement that its decision to get out of Florida was a business decision necessary to manage its risk exposure in the hurricane-prone state. Farmers serves 100,000 customers in Florida but said there will be no impact to customers who use Farmers’ owned subsidiaries like Foremost Signature and Bristol West.

“Such policies will continue to be available to serve the insurance needs of Floridians,” Farmers Insurance spokesperson Trevor Chapman said in a statement. “Affected customers will receive notifications detailing when their coverage will end and will be advised of options for replacement coverage.”

National insurers don’t have a major presence in Florida, including Farmers, which has barely a 2% share of the state’s insurance market. Florida requires affected policyholders to receive a 120-day notice that their policies aren’t being renewed.

“Over the past 18 months in Florida, 15 home insurers have placed moratoriums on writing new business, four carriers have announced plans to voluntarily withdraw from the market and seven companies have been declared insolvent,” Mark Friedlander, a spokesperson for Insurance Information Institute, told CNN. “Currently, there are 18 Florida residential insurers on the state regulator’s watch list due to concerns over their financial health.”

In addition to extreme weather, Florida insurers point to a legal system it says promoted litigation abuse and excess claims.

“This is a man-made crisis,” Friedlander previously told CNN.

The insurance industry pushed for and won a number of reforms meant to curb what it saw as abuse, but so far it hasn’t changed the outlook for insurers, partly because of a flood of nearly 300,000 lawsuits the Insurance Information Institute said was filed just before the law took effect.

“That will muddy the marketplace for years to come,” said Friedlander. “That volume of lawsuits will drive more of these regional companies out of business. The laws have changed. The market conditions have not changed. It’s still a mess.”

Florida’s location and low elevation makes It particularly susceptible to hurricane damage. The Atlantic hurricane season is projected to be normal this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with a 30% chance of an above normal season, and a 30% chance of fewer hurricanes than normal.

Last year was a bad year. Hurricane Ian in late September caused $114 billion in inflation-adjusted damage, according to NOAA, making it the most expensive storm to ever hit the state, and the third most expensive in US history after 2005’s Katrina and 2017’s Harvey.

Earlier this week, Farmers limited new homeowners insurance policies in California because of high costs and wildfire risks. State Farm and Allstate also made similar changes in that state.

Leave Comment


Recent Comments