The Real Deal Miami

Small insurers wielding bigger clout

August 04, 2008 11:55AM

Within the past 18 months, 14 new insurance companies have been licensed to sell homeowners policies in Florida, denting the perception that business is locked up by a handful of large underwriters like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide and the state-run Citizens Property Insurance. These new firms have a total of $265 million in capital, and many of them focus on underserved niches. Some got started by taking advantage of a surplus capital build-up program that the state started in 2006. Others attracted capital outside Florida, such as American Coastal Insurance, which has the backing of Branch Banking & Trust in North Carolina.