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Two Private Insurers to Offer Flood Insurance in Florida

On the heels of the some statements advising that Florida Citizens is considering its own flood program in addition to its current property insurance program, we hear from the private sector...
October 31, 2013

On the heels of the some statements advising that Florida Citizens is considering its own flood program in addition to its current property insurance program, we hear from the private sector. Two Florida insurance companies, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company and The Flood Insurance Agency, have announced they will offer flood insurance alternatives to some property owners who have been hit with large rate hikes under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Florida has 40 percent of all the flood insurance policies in the country, according to the Florida Insurance Council.

The companies will selectively accept new customers. Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Inc. said it has filed forms and rate filings with the Florida state Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to add an endorsement to its policies to include flood coverage. Vice President Kevin Mitchell said the goal of his company is to have homeowners pay rates that are similar to what they were paying before the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Law caused some rates to go up substantially.

Meanwhile, the Gainesville, Fla.-based The Flood Insurance Agency is technically acting as exclusive administrator for a program backed by insurance giant Lloyd’s of London. Unlike with state-regulated insurers, there is no government backstop for surplus carriers to make sure property claims are covered. In other words, if the firm went bankrupt, there is no guarantee claims would be paid. With Lloyd’s backing the program, however, chief executive officer Evan Hecht dismissed the risk during an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. Hecht told Best’s News Service that he’s not opposed to the NFIP and remains a strong advocate of most the Biggert-Waters legislation.

Two Private Insurers to Offer Flood Insurance in Florida (Tampa Bay Times 10/25/13)

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