The Real Deal Miami

Home insurer starts credit checks to price policies

Heritage Property & Casualty is Florida's fourth-largest homeowner insurance underwriter

September 27, 2015 04:00PM

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State-run Citizens doesn't check credit histories to price policies.

State-run Citizens doesn’t use credit checks.

Florida’s fourth-largest provider of homeowner insurance, Heritage Property & Casualty, has started checking individual credit histories to price policies.

Richard Widdicombe, president of Heritage, said the company recently told customers in letters about its decision to use credit histories to price new and renewed coverage.

Widdicombe also said the new policy is his first experience in his 35-year career in using credit information to price policies.

Formed in 2012, Heritage obtained many of its policyholders from state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which has transferred  many of its policyholders to smaller companies in recent years.

Widdicombe said policyholders Heritage got from Citizens aren’t subject to the new credit reviews because of limits on the Heritage’s ability to change their rates for three years.

Citizens never has conducted credit checks on customers, spokesman Michael Peltier said.

“The proper use of credit scores involves a thorough analysis of the various credit factors and their correlation to actual loss experience.” he said. “That type of analysis is an expensive undertaking that we have chosen not to include in our underwriting process.” [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth