Progressive to drop 100,000 home insurance policies in Florida
Progressive joins more than a dozen insurers pulling back from the Sunshine State
In the latest hit to Florida homeowners, another insurer is pulling back from the Sunshine State.
Progressive confirmed it is dropping 100,000 home insurance policies across Florida, with a first wave of non-renewal notices going out in December, WFLA reported. The move will cut half of Progressive’s home policies in the state, according to the outlet.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) anticipates Progressive will cut 47,000 DP3 policies, which are typically used for second homes, and 53,000 policies for “high-risk properties,” the publication reported. The latest cut of 100,000 policies adds to the heap of 56,000 policies Progressive didn’t renew last year in Florida.
Despite repeated attempts by lawmakers to shore up Florida’s shaky insurance market, providers have been fleeing the state. Progressive, based in Mayfield Village, Ohio and led by CEO Tricia Griffith, joins more than a dozen insurers that have either left or reduced their exposure in the market in recent years. After a special session in Tallahassee in December, the state senate passed an industry-friendly bill bolstering reinsurance funds and making it more difficult for homeowners to sue insurers, something experts said would help coax providers back into the market.
Still, the growing frequency and strength of storms due to climate change is hitting insurers’ bottom lines harder than lawsuits.
Insurers have continued to pull back. Farmers Insurance announced in July it would stop writing and renewing Florida homeowners’ policies. The decision affected an estimated 100,000 policies.
With providers leaving the state, and policies required to maintain most mortgages, homeowners have been forced to turn to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance for coverage. Citizens, intended to be a last-resort option, now holds more than 1.4 million policies with 18 percent of the market share, according to III.
Rate hikes are coming for Citizens customers, though. A proposal submitted to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation last month showed an average 11.5 percent increase in cost for the most common homeowners policy Citizens sells, which will take effect in December. The 10.2 percent rate hike for commercial policies will start in November.
— Kate Hinsche