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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I've always worked with State Farm. But even they have their limits. After everyone started filing "black mold" claims in the Houston area after Allison, we received rewritten policies at renewal. You could accept or go elsewhere. The black mold scare was lawyer heaven. As usual lawyers have A LOT to due with how much we pay.
We're in Maryland now and only were accepted as a State Farm customer due to our long (and I'm sure not expensive to them) history. They'd stopped writing policies here due to tornado damage, as they had in Texas due to hurricane damage. They probably have started writing policies since then.
INSURANCE, n. An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
INSURANCE AGENT: My dear sir, that is a fine house â pray let me insure it.
HOUSE OWNER: With pleasure. Please make the annual premium so low that by the time when, according to the tables of your actuary, it will probably be destroyed by fire I will have paid you considerably less than the face of the policy.
INSURANCE AGENT: O dear, no â we could not afford to do that. We must fix the premium so that you will have paid more.
HOUSE OWNER: How, then, can I afford that?
INSURANCE AGENT: Why, your house may burn down at any time. There was Smith's house, for example, which â
HOUSE OWNER: Spare me â there were Brown's house, on the contrary, and Jones's house, and Robinson's house, which â
INSURANCE AGENT: Spare me!
HOUSE OWNER: Let us understand each other. You want me to pay you money on the supposition that something will occur previously to the time set by yourself for its occurrence. In other words, you expect me to bet that my house will not last so long as you say that it will probably last.
INSURANCE AGENT: But if your house burns without insurance it will be a total loss.
HOUSE OWNER: Beg your pardon â by your own actuary's tables I shall probably have saved, when it burns, all the premiums I would otherwise have paid to you â amounting to more than the face of the policy they would have bought. But suppose it to burn, uninsured, before the time upon which your figures are based. If I could not afford that, how could you if it were insured?
INSURANCE AGENT: O, we should make ourselves whole from our luckier ventures with other clients. Virtually, they pay your loss.
HOUSE OWNER: And virtually, then, don't I help to pay their losses? Are not their houses as likely as mine to burn before they have paid you as much as you must pay them? The case stands this way: you expect to take more money from your clients than you pay to them, do you not?
INSURANCE AGENT: Certainly; if we did not â
HOUSE OWNER: I would not trust you with my money. Very well then. If it is certain, with reference to the whole body of your clients, that they lose money on you it is probable, with reference to any one of them, that he will. It is these individual probabilities that make the aggregate certainty.
INSURANCE AGENT: I will not deny it â but look at the figures in this pamph â
HOUSE OWNER: Heaven forbid!
INSURANCE AGENT: You spoke of saving the premiums which you would otherwise pay to me. Will you not be more likely to squander them? We offer you an incentive to thrift.
HOUSE OWNER: The willingness of A to take care of B's money is not peculiar to insurance, but as a charitable institution you command esteem. Deign to accept its expression from a Deserving Object.
I have been in one major accident and a couple of fender benders. One my fault, the others not. All with State Farm. Been with them over 10 years now. Very good service. They have been good to me.
Thanks for the post!
But they wait until a disaster to complain.
There is no perfect solution but I don't think insurance companies want to lose clients either.
At some point there is no gamble and then there is no profit.
New jingle: Nationwide is on the run!
That was going through my head too.
I live in Pasco county. A raise of 28.9% would have been great.
I haven't had time to figure out the exact percentage, but my raise this year was over 100%. Not because I had a claim - I never have claimed here in FL.
I was dropped by my insurance company for owning a German Shepherd.
Lord help me. I owned a German Shepherd where it rains a lot. I'm wicked, wicked.
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