Florida insurance defense law firms seeking opportunities to defend Hurricane Irma claims as panel counsel may want to reach out to the large number of Florida homeowners insurance carriers across the state and beyond.
Homeowners insurance in the Florida market is provided by dozens of Florida-based insurers, with participation as well by national and other non-domestic insurers.
The top 10 insurance companies in the Florida homeowners insurance market collectively represent only 38 percent of the total market share as measured by the number of total policies in force, and 36 percent as measured by the total insured value of all policies as of Q1 2016.
Hurricane Irma property damage claims are likely to include auto policies, boat coverage, and commercial property loss, in addition to Florida homeowners insurance filings. Insurers may also turn to Florida insurance defense law firms to investigate claims and help distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent filings.
Panel Counsel Information on Florida Homeowners Insurance Companies
Helping insurance defense law firms nationwide connect with litigation managers in charge of panel counsel programs at insurance companies is the primary focus at Legal Expert Connections.
We are currently compiling a list of 60+ Florida homeowners insurance companies, with current contact information for the litigation panel manager. If your insurance defense law firm is interested in purchasing a list to assist in your business development efforts, contact insurance defense marketing consultant Margaret Grisdela at 1-866-417-7025, via email, or connect with Margaret Grisdela on LinkedIn.
Market Analysis for Florida Homeowners Insurance Companies
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, government entity, is a leading Florida homeowners insurance company that offers wind-only and all-perils property insurance coverage to Floridians without private insurance options. The market is crowded with dozens of smaller companies, however.
State Farm, which used to be the dominant insurer for homeowners coverage in Florida, pulled out of the market in 2009 after being turned down for a requested 47 percent increase in premiums. The next year it began cancelling thousands of policies, although some do remain in effect.
The Florida residential property insurance admitted market is now divided into four major parts, according to a 2016 report issued by Citizens. The four categories are:
- Florida-only subsidiaries “pups” of major national writers
- Florida-based domestic companies (often “take-out” companies)
- Non-domestic nationwide property writers
Florida initiated a “take-out” plan in 2008 to reduce the number of new and renewed policies written by Citizens. Risk management was a driving force behind the Citizens de-population effort. Citizens had 1.5 million policies in effect in 2011, a number that was reduced to 577,263 at the end of 2016. About 1.4 million policies were approved for take-out in 2014, followed by another 1.3 million policies in 2015. Even though a policy is approved for take-out, only four in 10 may actually be removed from Citizens.
“Take-out” companies are approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“FLOIR”) to remove policyholders as part of a “depopulation program.”
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund) also pursued favorable conditions in the reinsurance market in recent years to offset risk that might otherwise have been borne by the state’s residents.
Many policies that remain with Citizens cover high risk properties—including coastal homes, older residences built to less stringent codes, mobile homes, and sinkhole areas—that can’t be affordably insured in the private market.
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was formed in 2002 with the merger of the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association, which was created in 1972 to provide wind-only coverage in coastal regions, and the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, which was created in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew left thousands of Floridians scrambling to find homeowners insurance.
Hurricane Irma First Major Florida Storm in a Decade
Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 3 storm, followed by a second landfall on Marco Island with the same level of intensity.
Floridians (of which the author is one) were blessed with a recent 11-year lull in “major” hurricanes. Hurricane Wilma struck the state as a Category 3 storm on October 24, 2005. The next 11 annual hurricane seasons were relatively quiet, until September 2016 when Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Panhandle as a Category 1 storm. Hurricane Matthew gave Florida a scare in 2016, but ended up skirting the state’s eastern coastline before making landfall in South Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center classifies hurricanes based on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, with ratings from a low of 1 to a high of 5. A “major” hurricane is defined as Category 3 or higher. A Category 3 storm has sustained winds of 111 to 129 miles per hour. In this category, “devastating damage” can occur, including the loss of electricity and water for several days to weeks after the storm passes. Such is the case following Hurricane Irma’s destructive path across the Sunshine State.
Insurance Defense Marketing Consultant for Law Firms
If your insurance defense law firm is asking how you can get on more insurance panels, give us a call. We have helped more than 110 insurance defense law firms pursue new insurance panel counsel clients.
Legal Expert Connections, Inc. offers three key benefits to insurance defense law firms nationwide:
- We are the leading U.S. legal marketing agency specializing in the insurance defense market. We know the panel counsel process, and can accelerate your business development efforts by identifying who you need to contact.
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- Save time and money. You get quality marketing materials and targeted, accurate prospect lists. No need to invest in senior in-house marketing / business development staff with the associated overhead expense for office space, equipment, and benefits.