State Farm Florida Drops Several Commercial Lines; Nonrenews 10,000 Homeowners

Oct 5, 2011

The following article was published in Property Casualty360º on October 5, 2011:

State Farm Fla. Drops Several Commercial Lines;  Nonrenews 10,000 Homeowners

By Chad Hemenway

State Farm Florida Insurance Co. says it is getting out of several businesses it does not specialize in so that other specialized carriers can provide the coverage.

Additionally, the state’s largest private provider of personal-property insurance, says it will not renew about 10,000 homeowners policies.

Nonrenewal notices have been sent to State Farm Florida commercial policyholders for churches, contractors and apartments.

“To remain in Florida and continue serving as many homeowners as possible here, we have been gradually reducing the size of our business in the state,” says spokesman Michael Grimes. “As part of this effort we are exiting a variety of commercial lines so that other carriers specializing in this type of coverage can provide such services in the future.”

Grimes says the insurance market for churches is “very competitive” and there are “numerous companies that specialize in the coverage.

“We are a small carrier” in this line, he adds.

Grimes could not say which of its 500,000 homeowners’ policyholders would receive nonrenewal notices. The decision to drop the policies was made to help the insurer manage its exposure while creating “as little disruption as possible,” he says.

State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is the state’s largest writer of personal property insurance in Florida, with a 15.3 percent market share in 2010, according to Highline Data.

State Farm is next with 13 percent of the market, followed by Universal Insurance Holdings Group (8 percent), Tower Hill Insurance Group (4.7 percent) and USAA Group (4.6 percent).

In April state regulators approved an average statewide homeowners rate increase of 18.8 percent for State Farm though the company asked for more than 25 percent.

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