Farmers Insurance Exiting Florida

Farmers Insurance Exiting Florida

By Jim Saunders & Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida insurance market took a hit Tuesday, as Farmers Insurance said it will end residential, auto and umbrella policies in the state, forcing tens of thousands of customers to look elsewhere for coverage.

The company said the move will affect only Farmers-branded policies and will not affect policies sold in the state by subsidiaries Foremost and Bristol West. It indicated the Farmers-branded policies make up about 30 percent of the policies sold by the affiliated companies in Florida.

“We have advised the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation of our decision to discontinue offering Farmers-branded auto, home and umbrella policies in the state,” Farmers spokesman Trevor Chapman said in a prepared statement. “This business decision was necessary to effectively manage risk exposure. Farmers offers insurance through several different brands, and this decision applies only to policies issued through our exclusive agency distribution channel.”

Farmers will not write new policies or renew existing policies. The non-renewals will play out over several months.

It was not immediately clear Tuesday how much of an impact the Farmers move will have on Florida’s troubled property-insurance market, where insurers have dropped hundreds of thousands of policies and raised rates during the past two years.

A source told The News Service of Florida that about 100,000 Farmers policies across the residential, auto and umbrella lines of business could be affected, though a breakdown by policy type was not available.

A state report indicated that, as of Dec. 31, Farmers Casualty Insurance Co. had 5,835 residential policies. By comparison, Foremost Insurance Co. and Foremost Property and Casualty Insurance Co. combined for nearly 62,500 residential policies, according to the report.

Saying he had heard rumors that Farmers might pull out of Florida, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Monday blasted the company.

“If that’s true my office is going to explore every avenue possible for holding them accountable,” Patronis said in a Twitter post. “Don’t get to leave after taking policyholder money. Can’t write auto if you’re not doing homeowners either.”

That drew a retort from Rep. Hilary Cassel, D-Dania Beach, an attorney who represents policyholders in lawsuits against insurers.

“The only time your office has held an insurance company accountable is when you’re looking to collect a campaign check,” Cassel tweeted.

Samantha Bequer, a spokeswoman for the Office of Insurance Regulation, said in an email that the agency received a notice Monday from Farmers about exiting the market. The notice was listed as a “trade secret,” so its details were not publicly available Tuesday.

State law requires Farmers to give 90 days’ notice to the office before it can inform customers that policies will not be renewed.

Farmers also is limiting homeowners coverage in California, according to numerous recent media reports.

7 Responses to "Farmers Insurance Exiting Florida"

  1. The property insurance issue will ensure voters reject DeSantis in favor of Trump. You can’t win when you hit people in their wallets.

  2. Require by law, that any homeowners insurance company that seeks to leave the Florida market MUST repay all premiums paid to them – with interest – by Florida homeowners/customers that HAVE NOT made a claim on their homeowners insurance, or be subject to the seizure of all company and company board members company and/or personal fiscal and/or tangible assets which will then be used to reimburse said customers.

    Problem solved

  3. To keep the few private insurers left in Florida, the regulators of the property insurance companies are doing very little oversight of those companies.

    Policy Holders are not only getting slammed by (higher than inflation) rising costs, if one has an issue with the way their property insurance company is treating them, like acting in bad faith on a claim, the State regulators are not going to bat for the Policy Holder cuz they don’t want to give the company such a hard time that they might leave the State.

    When was the last time you saw where the high level executives of property insurance companies, who make millions per year, indicate they are not going to take their yearly hundreds of thousands dollars bonus or annual pay increase to help offset the rising costs of policies for the Policy Holders?

    The answer is “NEVER” cuz they are getting all this money because they have successfully convinced Florida Politicians to do essentially nothing to help Policy Holders while the companies continue to roll in the cash by raising costs and denying claims with little to no government oversight.


  4. The ocean is the warmest it has ever been and insurance companies know that when a big storm propped up by geological time scale warm water hits Florida’s coastal homes there won’t be a rate increase big enough to offset the payoffs. It’s a miracle anyone is offering insurance at all.

  5. Not to shamelessly plug an insurance company, but I like USAA. You have to be a veteran to join. When Farm Bureau wanted to *raise* my yearly rate $4,040.00, USAA took me on and my yearly rate only increased $1,100.00.

  6. Our insurance company raised its rates by over 40% this year. We initially thought it was outrageous until we obtained competitive quotes. Renewals are almost always less expensive than new policies, so our hearts go out to all the folks that need to buy a new policy under these terrible conditions. The prices are crazy so hold onto your wallets for a crazy ride.

  7. My Insurance Company is leaving too (not Farmers) and gave me until early October to find a new one. The bad part is, it is Hurricane Season.

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