Why Some Florida Home Insurance Companies Are Good for Florida

Jan 23 09:18 2009 Michael Letcher Print This Article

For years, it has been popular to hate home insurance companies in Florida for everything from policy cancellations, high prices, and poor customer service. But Florida is now a world of smaller, regional home insurance companies as most of the well known national names have left the state. Here's why some companies shouldn't be on the receiving end of your anger and might possibly deserve your respect and gratitude.

Being angry at Florida home insurance companies has become a popular activity since many large companies started exiting the state after Hurricane Andrew - a pattern that has continued thru today. After Florida's 2004/2005 hurricanes,Guest Posting companies significantly increased both their rates and their insurance cancellations

But there are now two distinct groups of home insurance companies in Florida. The first group of companies consists of well known national names such as State Farm Florida, Allstate Floridian, and Nationwide Insurance Company of Florida among others. The second group consists of recently formed Florida based companies that have commenced operations in the past 15 years - many since the end of 2005.

In this new era of national companies leaving the state and new companies entering the market, it is the second group of newly formed companies that we should be cutting some slack. Here's why:

After the 2007 legislation, it was the recently formed companies that actually reduced their rates in response to this legislation while many of the national companies stubbornly pursued rate increases.

It is the more recently formed companies that continue to grow their business in Florida while the well known national companies continue to cancel Florida homeowners insurance policies.

The Florida based start-ups are more willing to consider insuring older Florida homes and properties near the coast - risks that the national companies abandoned years ago and continue to shed.

Finally, these newer start up companies deserve a chance to build up their capital reserves and to expand responsibly. They are our future if there is any hope of Florida taxpayers and policyholders avoiding massive special assessments that we could face if Citizens Property Insurance Corporation or the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund ever come up short.

Some of these newer companies have started to expand their risk both in Florida and into other states. This risk diversification is a good thing that will reduce the chances of one particular company going broke after a major hurricane.

Finally, from a policy perspective, the State of Florida needs to take a new look at how it considers request to increase rates. At the present time the system is not working property - the larger companies bailing out on the state are still getting higher rates or smaller decreases than the newer companies that are taking more and more of Florida's hurricane risk.

Companies that can demonstrate that they are growing their policy base and those that can show a track record of covering older and coastal homes should be permitted more pricing power and granted higher rate increases than the companies that are bailing out.

This is not to say that the newer start up companies are not without their own issues. They have opportunities to improve too - particularly with regards to customer service as they attempt to run with smaller staffs and use shared customer support centers.

However, the next time you are in a conversation where general hatred is being aimed at Florida home insurance companies don't paint all of the companies with the same brush. Many of the newer companies are covering your higher risk homes, taking steps to reduce costs and your premiums, and assuming risks that used to be part of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

Give these newer start-up companies credit for helping all Floridians out during difficult times. The more of these companies that can be created and built up with a decent base of premiums and capital, the better it will be for all of Florida in the long run.

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About Article Author

Michael Letcher
Michael Letcher

Michael Letcher is a former Bank of America and W.R. Grace executive and a licensed Certified Public Accountant. His on-line guide can help you find affordable Tampa home insurance. Get all the secrets to low cost Florida insurance in his free newsletter at => http://www.homeinsurancebuyers.org

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