Bankers Insurance Group leaving Florida

Florida’s already crippled home insurance market is taking another hit. WESH 2 News has learned that another company, Bankers Insurance Group, is pulling out of Florida’s home insurance market. “The Florida private insurance market is collapsing,” said Mark Friedlander. Friedlander is the Florida spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. He said Bankers Insurance is now the 13th home insurer in Florida to make such a change this year. The institute’s list includes home insurers that have either announced an exit from the Florida market, placed a moratorium on writing new business or went insolvent. Friedlander said Bankers’ departure leaves people with over 50 other possible options in the state. “It’s a very volatile marketplace right now,” he said. In a statement, Bankers said: “This difficult decision was made to allow us to focus on our remaining lines and ensure they remain competitive and profitable. As an AM Best-rated carrier, we remain financially sound.”The company continued on to explain that state lawmakers did not do enough during the home insurance special session to combat fraud and litigation. Friedlander said there are about 25,000 policyholders who will be impacted by bankers’ decision. He said the company is expected to start notifying policyholders in October since the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has to approve Bankers’ exit plan first. Under state law, Friedlander said the notices will give policyholders 120 days to make a change. “No policies are being impacted in 2022,” he said. “They are not going to cancel any policies mid-term, that’s not their plan.” Friedlander said the earliest people will see impacts to their policies is next year. But he adds that folks should start preparing now. “Start talking to your insurance agent as soon as possible to shop your coverage and see what other options are out there. There’s no need to wait until you receive that notice,” he said. WESH 2 News reached out to Bankers for more specifics for customers and is waiting to hear back. Bankers will continue offering renters, flood and commercial insurance. WESH 2 News also reached out to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to request an overview of the latest home insurers that have left the state of Florida, how many remain and how they are rated and is waiting for a response. More from Bankers Insurance Group: “As we have communicated in recent weeks, unprecedented reinsurance costs over the last several years are forcing many carriers, including Bankers, to seek viable options to continue offering a mix of product lines in a distressed marketplace. Recent legislative measures, unfortunately, failed to adequately address the immediate financial challenges faced by property and casualty insurers, including combating fraud and litigation which exponentially outpaces every other state. We have, therefore, made the difficult decision to inform the Office of Insurance Regulation that Bankers is exiting its Homeowners (HO3) and Dwelling Fire (DP3) lines in Florida. Bankers has been proud to serve these lines for decades and remains dedicated to its agents and its policyholders. Bankers remains financially sound and committed to all Commercial Lines, Builders Risk, HO4, and Flood in the state. We want to remind you we maintain a financial strength rating of at least B+ from AM Best, meeting the requirement for mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We will send an updated communication and updated timeline of non-renewals which adhere to the 120-day notice requirement in the state.Your loyalty to Bankers over the last 46 years is paramount to us and we felt compelled to communicate with you directly. This decision was difficult, however, necessary to allow us to grow responsibly and maintain our long-term financial objectives.”Related: How Florida insurance companies going under leaves buyers out to dryRelated: Florida property insurance company goes under, leaving policy holders scramblingRelated: Insurance experts say shady contractors gaming legal loopholes in Florida

Florida’s already crippled home insurance market is taking another hit.

WESH 2 News has learned that another company, Bankers Insurance Group, is pulling out of Florida’s home insurance market.

“The Florida private insurance market is collapsing,” said Mark Friedlander.

Friedlander is the Florida spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. He said Bankers Insurance is now the 13thth home insurer in Florida to make such a change this year. The institute’s list includes home insurers that have either announced an exit from the Florida market, placed a moratorium on writing new business or went insolvent. Friedlander said Bankers’ departure leaves people with over 50 other possible options in the state.

“It’s a very volatile marketplace right now,” he said.

In a statement, Bankers said: “This difficult decision was made to allow us to focus on our remaining lines and ensure they remain competitive and profitable. As an AM Best-rated carrier, we remain financially sound.”

The company continued on to explain that state lawmakers did not do enough during the home insurance special session to combat fraud and litigation.

Friedlander said there are about 25,000 policyholders who will be impacted by bankers’ decision. He said the company is expected to start notifying policyholders in October since the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has to approve Bankers’ exit plan first. Under state law, Friedlander said the notices will give policyholders 120 days to make a change.

“No policies are being impacted in 2022,” he said. “They are not going to cancel any policies mid-term, that’s not their plan.”

Friedlander said the earliest people will see impacts on their policies is next year. But he adds that folks should start preparing now.

“Start talking to your insurance agent as soon as possible to shop your coverage and see what other options are out there. There’s no need to wait until you receive that notice,” he said.

WESH 2 News reached out to Bankers for more specifics for customers and is waiting to hear back. Bankers will continue offering renters, flood and commercial insurance.

WESH 2 News also reached out to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to request an overview of the latest home insurers that have left the state of Florida, how many remain and how they are rated and is waiting for a response.

More from Bankers Insurance Group:

“As we have communicated in recent weeks, unprecedented reinsurance costs over the last several years are forcing many carriers, including bankers, to seek viable options to continue offering a mix of product lines in a distressed marketplace. Recent legislative measures, unfortunately, failed to adequately address the immediate financial challenges faced by property and casualty insurers, including combating fraud and litigation which exponentially outpaces every other state. We have, therefore, made the difficult decision to inform the Office of Insurance Regulation that Bankers is exiting its Homeowners (HO3) and Dwelling Fire (DP3) lines in Florida. Bankers have been proud to serve these lines for decades and remain dedicated to its agents and its policyholders.

Bankers remain financially sound and committed to all Commercial Lines, Builders Risk, HO4, and Flood in the state. We want to remind you we maintain a financial strength rating of at least B+ from AM Best, meeting the requirement for mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We will send an updated communication and updated timeline of non-renewals which adhere to the 120-day notice requirement in the state.

Your loyalty to Bankers over the last 46 years is paramount to us and we felt compelled to communicate with you directly. This decision was difficult, however, necessary to allow us to grow responsibly and maintain our long-term financial objectives.”

Related: How Florida insurance companies going under leaves buyers out to dry

Related: Florida property insurance company goes under, leaving policy holders scrambling

Related: Insurance experts say shady contractors gaming legal loopholes in Florida

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