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Press Release

Commissioner Welcomes Eight New Property & Casualty Insurers To Florida
Monday, June 4, 2007
TALLAHASSEE (06/04/2007) - The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation finished a busy week before hurricane season finalizing two applications bringing the total to eight new insurers entering the property and casualty insurance marketplace in Florida since January 1, 2007.  The insurers represent a myriad of different types of insurance entities including surplus lines, alien, foreign, and domestic property and casualty insurers.  Together these entities represent $1.2 billion in capital investment.
While all insurers are important additions, the most dramatic new entrant is Ironshore Insurance Ltd., a Bermuda-based surplus lines company.  Beginning with nearly $1 billion in equity capital, this new company will serve a critical demand:  covering commercial risk with wind exposures in the catastrophe-prone coastal states.  On May 15th, Ironshore also received approval to operate in South Carolina.
"It gives me great pleasure to introduce new insurers to the State of Florida," remarked Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, "These new companies not only provide much needed investment to our marketplace, but demonstrate the commitment of the industry to continue to conduct business in our state."
Two other surplus lines companies have received approval to write in Florida.  Delaware-based Praetorian Specialty Insurance Company will write commercial multi-peril and allied lines, while the United Kingdom-based Arch Insurance Company (Europe) Limited will target the commercial market by focusing on the energy risks of oil companies.  Praetorian Specialty has been licensed in Florida since 2001 as an accredited reinsurer, but has recently decided to expand into the surplus lines market.  An accredited reinsurer is an entity permitted to sell "back-up" insurance to insurance companies.
Florida will also benefit from four new domestic insurers, and one domestic reciprocal.  A reciprocal is an exchange in which each insured in the group mutually insures other insureds in the exchange.  In the past week, Modern USA Insurance Company was admitted as a domestic insurer that will focus on mid-to-upper level homeowners insurance, while Olympus Insurance Company, also admitted this week, has plans to begin writing homeowners policies by the fourth quarter of 2007.
In addition, American Keystone Insurance Company will write homeowners insurance for values structured from $250,000 to $3 million; Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company plans to take-out 15,000 to 20,000 policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in July.  The only reciprocal company in this group of companies, Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, Inc., will target high net worth clients in Florida in the homeowners and personal auto lines.