State to Shutter Argus Property Insurer

Jun 3, 2011

The following article was published in the South Florida Business Journal on June 3, 2011:

State to Shutter Argus Property Insurer

State officials ordered North Miami Beach-based Argus Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. to cease operations.

Starting Tuesday, the nearly 9,000 homeowners with Argus policies will have 45 days to find new insurers. Jupiter-based Weiss Ratings reported that Argus, an affiliate of United Automobile Insurance Group, had $34.3 million in premiums in 2010 and lost $4 million. It was ranked a “D” by Weiss, which gave 29 Florida property insurers low ratings.

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s order to place Argus under administrative supervision and shut it down, the company had a surplus of $4.55 million at the end of April and that wasn’t enough for it to secure adequate reinsurance against a catastrophic event.

Argus was founded in 1997 and it has taken policies from state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp.