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Another property insurer is coverage drop in Florida.

Farmers Insurance will stop writing new business and will not renew its existing “Farmers-branded” auto, home and umbrella policies in the Sunshine State, the company said Tuesday.

Last month, Farmers said it was only pausing new business in Florida. The company is also limiting new housing policies in California, where it is headquartered, according to news reports.

“This business decision was necessary to effectively manage risk exposure,” the company said in a statement.

The move will affect 30% of the company’s business in Florida, or roughly 100,000 policies. Policyholders affected by the decision must receive 120 days’ notice that their coverage will not be renewed.

Farmers sent notice of its plans to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Monday, which is reviewing it. Insurers must give the bureau 90 days notice if they want to discontinue writing business in Florida.

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A billing statement from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation that Vinnette Williams received for her Boynton Beach home. Citizens registrations continue to grow as other property insurers go out of business in Florida.

Policies with other Farmers brands will not be affected

The policies of its other brands such as Bristol West, Foremost Signature, Farmers GroupSelect, Foremost Choice and Foremost will not be affected.

This marks the latest stumble in the instability of Florida’s property insurance market. Seven Florida property insurers filed for bankruptcy in the past 18 months, and another 15 have stopped writing new business in the same time period, said Mark Friedlander, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.

Farmers joined Bankers Insurance and Lexington Insurance, an AIG subsidiary, in pulling out of the market since last year, he added.

In a letter from a Farmers executive on Tuesday, Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky said he would have preferred to speak with the company before receiving the notice and that his office was “disappointed in the haste of this decision and concerned about how this decision could have cascading impacts for policyholders.”

The decision to pull the Florida business was made “independently” of a series of legislative changes made to address the insurance market, Yaworsky wrote, and was “part of a broader series of actions that Farmers it’s doing all over the country and not just focused on Florida. .”

The letter also notes that Farmers promised to transfer affected policyholders to other insurance companies. Anyone who receives a non-renewal notice from Farmers should contact their agent as soon as possible to seek other coverage.

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Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter called Farmers Insurance’s decision “devastating for all Floridians.”

“It creates a ripple effect: it directly affects current farmers’ policyholders who will be forced to find new insurance potentially during hurricane season and a homeowner’s insurance market that is significantly limited in availability and affordability” , Carter said.

Mel Montagne, president of Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe, who spoke out against the most recent rate increase proposed by Citizens Property Insurance, said he anticipates this will result in increased insurance rates and that more owners trust the state insurer.

Ciutadans continues to grow, with 1.3 million policies at the end of May.

“It looks like it’s becoming the only insurer in the state of Florida,” he said.

state lawmakers tried to address the property insurance crisis with two special sessions last year and the last regular session. This included stopping one-way attorney fees and prohibiting insurance companies from directly paying third parties, such as roofers or contractors.

Advocates of the changes have said any impact will take time, but likely won’t result in reduced rates as Florida homeowners continue to face rising property insurance costs.

Floridians on average pay about $6,000 for their annual home insurance premium, a 42 percent increase compared to last year, Friedlander said. By comparison, the average annual premium in the US costs $1,700.

“There’s no question that it’s already a market where it’s difficult for policyholders to find private market coverage in the homeowner space,” said Paul Handerhan, president of the Federal Insurance Reform Association. adding that he was not surprised by the announcement. “Any company that withdraws its membership or does not renew policies will make it more difficult.”

A day before Farmers’ announcement was made public, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis tweeted that he had heard rumors of a Florida Farmers walkout and that the Department of Financial Services will “explore all possible avenues to make – those responsible”.

“Don’t walk away after taking the insured’s money. You can’t auto-write if you’re not making owners either. No communication!” Patronis wrote.

The Palm Beach Post reached out to the department Tuesday for further comment and whether the policies of other Farmers brands will be looked into. A spokesman did not respond and instead referred a reporter to the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Hannah Morse covers consumer issues for The Palm Beach Post. Drop a line a hmorse@pbpost.comcall 561-820-4833 or follow her on Twitter @mannahhorse.

This article originally appeared in the Palm Beach Post: Farmers Insurance no longer offers certain home policies in Florida


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