TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (10/29/2007) - The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced that it has signed Consent Orders allowing four companies to assume a total of 173,000 policies from the Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state's insurer of last resort.
American Integrity Insurance Co. of Florida, Argus Fire & Casualty Co., First Home Insurance Co. and Landmark One Insurance Co. will begin "taking out" Citizens' policies Dec. 17. Consumers will be notified beginning Nov. 7 and have the option of declining the take-out and retaining their Citizens' policy.
"This is great news for the property insurance market in Florida," remarked Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. "It is proof that the private insurance industry believes it can succeed and be profitable in Florida. And, consumers will be offered policies at rates that are at or below Citizens' current rates."
The new take-out plan would effectively roll back Citizens' policy count to pre-2007 numbers. Since the Florida Legislature created a depopulation program for Citizens under Section 627.351, Florida Statutes, the program has returned nearly half a million policyholders to the private marketplace from 2003 to 2006.
All four companies assuming business are Florida domestics. American Integrity has its home office in Tampa and will make the largest policy assumption - 75,000 homeowner's, mobile homeowner's and dwelling fire policies over six months. Newly formed Landmark One, with its home office in Miami, will assume 50,000 homeowners policies over 18 months.
First Home maintains its home office in Jacksonville and will immediately assume 30,000 homeowners and dwelling fire policies. Argus has been approved to assume 18,000 homeowners and dwelling fire policies over the next 18 months. Argus has its home office in North Miami Beach.
About the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
Established by the Florida Legislature, the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) is responsible for ensuring the existence of an orderly property insurance market for Floridians and Florida businesses. In 2002, the Florida Legislature combined the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA) and the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA) to create Citizens. This allowed the newly created Citizens to more efficiently and effectively provide insurance to, and serve the needs of, homeowners in high-risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the private insurance marketplace.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Business units within the Office are organized based on regulatory expertise and include the areas of life and health, property and casualty, specialty lines and other regulated insurance entities. It is within the Office that the mission of public protection is implemented through regulatory oversight of insurance company solvency, policy forms and rates, market conduct performance and new company entrants to the Florida market.
For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com.
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