Skip to comments.Another insurer to drop policies (Nationwide won't renew 40,000 policies for Florida homeowners)
Posted on 09/01/2005 1:49:31 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Not all Nationwide Insurance homeowners in Florida have to worry about a round of rate hikes going into effect starting this month.
Thousands won't be renewed at all.
Beginning March 1, Nationwide will not renew about 35,000 homeowners' and 4,800 mobile home policies across the state, the Columbus, Ohio, company said Wednesday. It also will no longer write mobile home policies starting today and won't renew about 12,000 commercial policies (mainly condominiums, apartments and rentals) starting March 1.
After the cutback, the fourth-biggest property insurer in Florida will continue to carry about 570,000 policies in Florida, including 240,000 homeowners' policies.
"It has become increasingly apparent that we are not comfortable with our current exposure in the Florida property market," Jeff Rommel, the company's regional vice president of Florida operations, said in a statement.
"While these are difficult decisions, we have an obligation to act in a responsible and thoughtful manner to ensure long-term stability for Nationwide policyholders in Florida and across the country."
The news wasn't a surprise.
Last month, Nationwide said it would stop writing new homeowners' policies across Florida starting this month and said it was considering more drastic measures, including nonrenewals in the state.
The local fallout includes dropping almost 9,800 Nationwide policyholders in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties. Of those, 8,233 are in Pinellas, meaning more than a third of Nationwide's policies in the county will not be renewed.
The Florida pullback is the latest fallout from last year's four-hurricane barrage.
More than a half-dozen companies have left the state or stopped writing policies since hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne caused a combined $22-billion in insured damages. Among them: Safeco Insurance, which told the state last month it would not write new policies and, beginning in 2006, would stop renewing customers. Allstate also has decided not to renew 95,000 policies.
In July, Nationwide won approval to raise rates an average of 21 percent on homeowners' policies and 25 percent for mobile homes.
In the bay area: Pinellas County homeowners insured by Nationwide face an average 29 percent increase in premiums; Hillsborough, 16.3 percent; Pasco, 28.9 percent; Hernando, 22.8 percent; and Citrus, 3.8 percent.
The biggest insurers, State Farm and Allstate, have not written homeowners' policies in high-risk, coastal areas of the state for years.
Increasingly, the only choice for property owners seeking coverage is one of the many startup insurers with a limited track record for handling claims or the state-run Citizens Property Insurance, which covers those who cannot find property insurance on the open market. Citizens has swelled into the second-largest insurer in Florida. By state law, its premiums are supposed to be higher than the market average as a disincentive to be used by homeowners as an easy fallback.
Information from Times files was used in this report. Jeff Harrington can be reached at 813 226-3407 or email@example.com
.....The biggest insurers, State Farm and Allstate, have not written homeowners' policies in high-risk, coastal areas of the state for years....***
Well we have a MAJOR CLUE as to the source of the problem right there.
In a free market, there will be a price at which all sorts of insurance will be available.
In a government regulated market, you will quite likely end up with none at all.
It's the bottom line.
Those in areas prone to hurricanes and flooding are going to pay dearly for insurance.
good, quit bailing out poor decisions
Is Citizens breaking even?
I don't know.
Apparently Katrina made landfall on the same calendar day that Andrew did. Which means 11 named hurricanes in 2005 up to this point...compared to one single named hurricane up to the same point in '92. The insurers have noticed these stats too.
Which one? There's about 8 of em by that name.
I have sympathy for their profit margin but this is insurance and while they accept our money, they never seem to like to pay out.
I asked an insurance agent that once and he said "peace of mind." I didn't ask him how you could have peace of mind if using your insurance was going to cause you to lose it!
LOL. Wow. I am amazed at his honesty.
Historically-until the mid 20th century, these "desirable" ares of real estate had remained undeveloped and unpopulated precisely because of their propensity fro runs of violent weather.
Nationwide AIN'T on their side.
Insurance is the idea of spreading the losses over a large segment of the insureds,some have many losses while others do not have any losses, thats right, we all pay for the ones that use the policies over and over. My premium on my homeowner policy here in Pennsylvania has gone up quite a bit and I'm sure some of it is to help defray some of the costs of the couple of bad years in the hurricane belt.
I for the life of me cannot understand why we have to subsidise rebuilding of places like New Orleans when we know this could happen again.
The 2004 ground zero for 2 hurricanes in as many weeks just happens to be the fastest growing city in Fl., on the top ten nationwide list, and is adding a turnpike interchange and an I-95 interchange to keep up with the massive population influx.
Go figure. :-)
Unfortunately this is true with any insurance.
Car insurance, health insurance, etc. You can pay in for years, but file a claim or come down with a serious illness and you risk being cancelled, or having your rates raised so high that you can't afford to keep the insurance.
Free market, I guess, but I've had friends have to "fight" with an insurance company about a claim but the insurance company had been more than happy to take money for years. As long as no claim was filed, there were no problems.
That being said, I have State Farm, live in a coastal region, and State Farm has continued to renew our policy and allowed us to up our coverage. And another insurance company we've had good service from is Geico. Have had a couple claims over the years because of accidents and they have been very efficient.