Largest private homeowners insurance company in Florida turning a profit

Mar 13, 2013

The following article was posted to The Insurance News Report on March 13, 2013:

Largest private homeowners insurance company in Florida turning a profit

By Helen Cutner

Universal Insurance flipped into the black when it saw a positive result from the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the largest privately owned homeowners insurance company, Universal Insurance, flipped to a profit, showing considerable improvements over the year before.

In 2011, the company had posted a loss of $2.3 million in the same quarter.

For 2012, the homeowners insurance company, based in Fort Lauderdale, posted a net income of $4.4 million. It also saw its direct premiums written rise to $174.6 million during that last quarter, when compared to 2011 when that figure was $163.4 million. This, according to the CEO of the company, is also indicative of things to come as the insurer predicts a more positive future.

Some of this success is being credited to the homeowners insurance company’s new business plan.

According to Sean Downes, the CEO and president of Universal Insurance, “Our full-year 2012 results reflect the successful execution of our business plan leading to better underwriting margins compared to a year ago.”

In February, the insurer received regulatory approval for increasing the homeowners insurance rates that it is charging within Florida. That would mean that the average premiums will increase by 14.1 percent, for its property coverage customers.

Last year, for the complete year – as opposed to just the last quarter – Universal experienced a net income that reached $30.5 million. This was a tremendous rise from the year’s total in 2011, when they took in only $20.1 million.

Before the announcement of the fourth quarter earnings for the homeowners insurance company was made, the shares for Universal had closed on Friday at $4.58, which was up by 13 cents, or 2.9 percent. For that company, the 52 week high had been reached on January 7, when it hit $4.69. This was a major improvement over its 52 week low, which was struck on August 2, when it fell to $3.01.

All of these signs are indicative of the homeowners insurance company’s reworking in order to send itself in a new and vastly improved direction. The hope is that it will continue to make positive moves throughout the year, as this has proved challenging in the past due to the challenging market that the state has to offer this sector.

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