Skip to comments.State Farm pulling out of Florida
Posted on 01/27/2009 8:44:22 AM PST by Fawn
State Farm Florida is pulling out of the homeowner insurance business in Florida, the company said this morning, in a surprise move that will leave more than 800,000 policyholders without coverage and will cause almost certain turmoil in the Florida insurance marketplace.
"Faced with steeply declining resources to cover future claims and expenses, State Farm Florida has little choice," said Jim Thompson, president, of State Farm Florida. ''This is not an action we wanted to take, but one we must take given the realities of the Florida property insurance market.
"We regret the impact this will have on our customers, employees and agents in Florida," he added.
Thompson said the plan requires regulatory review, and State Farm Florida will not begin dropping policies under the plan until that process is complete. Florida, however, has no law on the books that would prevent State Farm from leaving the state's homeowner insurance market.
State Farm Florida emphasized that it was submitting a two-year plan that seeks to limit disruptions for customers, and if approved, will allow them time to find coverage with other insurers.
State Farm is Florida's largest private homeowner insurer, second only to state-sponsored Citizens Property Insurance Co.
State Farm is also Florida largest automobile insurer with more than 3 million policies. The company says it will continue to offer auto coverage. However, a 2007 state law pushed by Gov. Charlie Crist prevents insurers from offering only auto policies if they offer both auto and homeowners in other states.
Well, we all know that President Obama can just give any future oncoming hurricaines a dirty look and they’ll simply disperse in fear.
Now you are jinxed.
“However, a 2007 state law pushed by Gov. Charlie Crist prevents insurers from offering only auto policies if they offer both auto and homeowners in other states.”
A big part of any private business’s problems like insurers are the bureaucrats and politicians ... these are people too stupid to recognize economic realities and are just as likely to mandate a repeal of gravity if they think it will get them a vote.
So will that equate with a rate reduction? /sarc/
You don’t need private home owner’s insurance. The gubmint will take care of you...
I wonder if a law preventing it’s citizens from buying car insurance from State Farm if State Farm isn’t selling home insurance would pass muster with the interstate commerce clause.
If I lived in Florida, I would be pretty upset if the government restricted my access to car insurance.
Of course, I’d also be upset that I was losing my homeowners insurance because of laws that make it too risky for the insurance company to operate in my state.
Sounds like a similar situation in my town last year. Started having a series of earthquakes, several a day, for a couple of months. The insurance companies tried to shut the door on earthquake riders on their homeowner’s policies. The state said “oh no you di-uhn’t!”. The insurers ended up making money—the earthquakes subsided as quickly as they came.
State Farm sees the handwriting on the wall.
They want to be in business 2-3 years... 2-3 months... down the line.
Be interesting to know more of the dynamics of this statement. The state sponsored insurance may have driven SF out of the market. Such is the life of socialists.
LOL, oh my eyes, I can just see it now.
But hurricane W hit the stock market, and that's where insurers make or lose money. They have to make up the money somehow.
Isn't Senator Bill Nelson, as a former Insurance Commissioner, the culprit to our home insurance problems???
How many SF agents will now be scrambling for there next gig. I feel sorry for the bloke who put 10-15 years in at SF, and now suddenly has to start all over again with AFLAC or Allstate or some other crappy company.
State Farm has a history of using this tactic. I caught by that in Texas once.
Never again will I buy insurance from State Farm, regardless of how cheap they may offer it.
Obama has neutralized Karl Rove's hurricane making weather machine for now.
How is this a surprise? Florida regulations/constraints prevent State Farm from getting an adequate return given the risks. Who can blame them for leaving?
Very true...although Fay did a ton of damage over central Florida when she stalled out for over 3 days right off our coast...I think she reached Cat 1 status over Lake O and will be revised as such.
My sister does also — home and car. Crap is right. I guess it’s Citizens for all — and more surtaxes for everyone else to subsidize the increased “state burden.”
You should not buy insurance on anything from State Farm or from Allstate. They are the two best at collecting premiums and the two worst at paying losses.
A few years ago Central Indiana was pounded by a series of fierce hailstorms. Many, many roofs were damaged and had to be replaced. In my neighborhood of 45 homes, probably 60% got new roofs. State Farm and Allstate did not replace any roofs unless they were sued or threatened with suit by attorneys.
State Farm pulling out of Florida is actually a benefit to Floridians. Maybe they can take Allstate with them.
Could it be that many of these homes are insured for much more than they are now worth. SF could be protecting against a major payout when the next hurricane comes through.
Agreed. When I bought my last house, I wouldn't consider getting a quote from either one of them. I would buy from a small unknown company before I would use either of them.
This wasn’t supposed to happen with Obama as president.
Yep, they are seeing hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars being thrown around and want to get a piece. I expect other companies to follow suit. Create an insurance crisis and then demand that the government underwrite their policies. Sadly predictable.
Sadly, SF agents are “captive”, meaning that they can not sell other lines, unless their company refuses to bid. This means that they have few “appointments” with other, outside insurers who are competitive and everyone knows they are biased toward their own company, instead of objectively searching the market.
For an agent, independence is a lot to give up for the SF “brand.”
they will however be more than happy to continue taking your money for life/auto etc policys. i say if they want to continue to do business in the state of florida at all then they should have to continue to write all policys. they dropped our homeowners here in florida last year because we were deemed to be in a high risk area. the home we own was built in the 1940’s and has seen more hurricanes and suffered less damage during that time than the newer homes they continue to insure.
your wouldn’t think that if you new what the state sponsered citizens was getting away with charging........
You're forgetting the one that hit the whole nation on November 4th.
someone explain to me why SF is the bad guy in this scenario??
Same here in Central Texas. After a bad hailstorm a few years ago, just about everyone on our street filed claims for roof damage. Our company (Travelers) paid out immediately. The only two neighbors who had trouble getting their claim approved were State Farm customers.
We also had Travelers. Good company to deal with. Had an adjuster out in less than a week, had check in hand four days later. Enough not only for replacement roof, but also to upgrade to 30 year shingles.
Reluctance to pay claims subsequent the hurricane season in 2004-5.
Rates doubled and tripled across the state, partially due to the artificial increase in property value due to temporary spikes in demand and unavailability.
Non owner occupied and non primary residences became almost uninsurable.
And I left the state.
Years ago they refused to write Automobile policies in California. It was right when I was trying to get insurance and they refused me. A year later they were cold calling and begging for my business. No way, if you can’t come through when I need you, I don’t ever need you.
I am going to assume that you have no idea what the homeowners insurance situation was like in Florida the last 3 years or so.
Homeowners policies were either being shed by companies, the companies were going bankrupt right and left, or companies were not writing policies and doubling rates year after year. Things were very uncertain for a long time. When you could get insurance at all, the restrictions would leave you without coverage in many scenarios, and the riders required to get decent coverage meant double, triple, or even quadruple what you paid only last month. It was really scary.
Things are more stable now in the market, but it has been a bumpy, expensive ride. All of my insurance business was with State Farm. When State Farm dumped me, I dumped every policy that I had with them. I actually felt bad for the Agent, but I was not going to be played for a chump.
I urge anyone with State Farm insurance in Florida to dump them. After 20 years, they will never see another dime from me.
Bill Nelson is an idiot as is RINO Mel Martinez and RINO Gov Charlie Crist.
Fortunately for us, it doesn't seem to work like that.
Before Hurricane Anrew, it had been 25 years since a hurricane scored a direct hit on Miami Dade County. The trade off seems to be that when we DO get one after a lengthy period of time, it's going to be a biggie....
Our condos have State Farm (great- it’s going to be a bitch to get someone else), but I switched my auto to Allstate. I got $5k more in coverage for $200 a year cheaper.
Is this related to the problem with trial lawyers in Fla? I heard their medical malpractice situation is terrible.
Government competition with private business is only one step away from government takeover of private business.
“When you could get insurance at all, the restrictions would leave you without coverage in many scenarios, and the riders required to get decent coverage meant double, triple, or even quadruple what you paid only last month. It was really scary.”
Maybe the Florida insurance commission can mandate an end to hurricanes striking the Sunshine in order to stabilize prices for you ... or perhaps recognize insurance is a risk based industry that operates on a profit margin based on revenue being less than claim expenses.
Thanks, I know. I happen to be an independant agent representing several top companies.
Just recently I had a couple contact me who had applied for a LTC policy from SF. I was able to help them find a better plan with John Hancock that was less expensive.
Funny how you can’t legislate that a company MUST do business in a state.* State Farm’s actuaries informed the company that it could not make a fair rate of return in Florida, thanks in part to laws like Crist’s. So it pulled up stakes. Obviously if it COULD have made money staying in FL, without undue risk, it WOULD have.
*- Actually, about 10 years ago, San Francisco passed an ordinance purporting to bar gas stations in part of the city from going out of business (from converting the physical property from “gas station” to “something else”). See how that works? “Oh, the gas stations are switching over to Starbuckses, or just going under, and now our voters complain that they have to drive further to buy gas. So, we’ll just outlaw this gas-stations-going-out-of-business stuff. Problem solved!”
In other words, they invested premium payments that lost 30-50% of their value. Expect more insurance companies to run into trouble.
My inlaws have a $46,000 trailer on a lot in a 50 and over community in Clearwater, FL. Their homeowners insurance ended their policy and had to find another company.
The price for covering a $46,000 trailer? $3000 a year.
Now if we could get GM, Ford and Chrysler to stop selling new cars in California because they want to establish their own emission standards, we'd really be getting somewhere.
It would be very entertaining to see who blinked first.
correct but at least the national monument gets 200 million face life, ACORN receives billions, Homo groups and special interests will get money and these banks who keep saying they are broke but buy planes or fancy get aways will receive even more money and the list is endless