State Farm Wants To Cancel Florida Property Insurance After Rate Increase Denied

January 28, 2009

State Farm Insurance has announced they plan to discontinue offering property insurance in Florida, potentially leaving thousands of Florida residents hunting for property insurance.

statefarm2.jpgThe company said the move was “directly related to its inability to obtain regulatory approval of what it believes to be adequate property insurance rates”. The policies to be discontinued  include insurance coverage for homeowners, renters, condominium unit owners, personal liability, boats, personal articles, churches, and business property and liability policies.

In July, the company filed for an average 47.1 percent homeowners policy rate increase, but that increase was denied by the state.

In Escambia County, State Farm has over 13,000 homeowners policies, 87 mobile home policies, 328 condo policies, 1,257 renters policies, 58 apartment policies totaling almost $28 million in premiums.

“We will carefully review State Farm’s intended plans to ensure that they are in compliance with Florida law; and we will explore all legal options as well,” said Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. “I will do everything within my power to protect Florida consumers from unnecessary destabilization of the insurance market that this might cause and to ensure that Florida consumers are protected and have access to insurance at rates that are not excessive or unfairly discriminatory.”

The state insurance commission has up to 90 days to approve State Farm’s property pullout, and then state Farm must then provide 180 days notice to customers before policies can be non-renewed.

“To help ease the transition of policies, Florida already has new companies who are eagerly looking to grow their businesses and will welcome the opportunity to add more customers. I encourage everyone to work closely with their agent to choose a new company that will offer needed coverage at a price you can afford,” McCarty said.

“They probably charge about the highest rates in the state anyway,” Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said. “I think that Floridians will be much better off without them.”

“This is not an action we wanted to take, but one we must take given the realities of the Florida property insurance market,” State Farm Florida President Jim Thompson said in a statement. “We regret the impact this will have on our customers, employees and agents in Florida.”

State Farm has no plans to abandon its auto, health and life policies in Florida.


9 Responses to “State Farm Wants To Cancel Florida Property Insurance After Rate Increase Denied”

  1. Martin L on February 9th, 2009 3:52 am

    This is extortion by State Farm, nothing less, so that the State of Florida will approve the outrageous rate increase. It is galling to hear State Farm “reassure” us that they still will be around to write life and auto insurance policies. First of all, I thought the legislature passed a law prohibiting an insurance company from writing auto policies if they previous wrote both home and auto policies (and subsequently dropped home owner coverage). Maybe someone can clarify that. But in any case, I plan to shop around for better auto coverage if they drop my homeowners coverage.

    This situation is a good reason why there needs to be FEDERAL laws governing insurance company behavior–so that they cannot flee from one state to another.

  2. Darryl Hall on January 31st, 2009 10:52 am

    Good luck to State Farm policy holders, and to those with Allstate too. After Allstate refused to fix damage to my vehicle by one of their policy holders, claiming it was pre-existing, and if I didn’t like it to call a lawyer. I did (a client of ours I knew) and after he told me not to pursue it for the cost, he told me Allstate was the worst for refusing to pay legitimate claims, followed by State Farm and Nationwide.

    I’ve heard of Allstate dropping one of their own employees who became gravely ill, needing a kidney transplant. They dropped him and canceled his insurance. He died without being able to pursue the transplant.

  3. Levena L Schreier on January 30th, 2009 5:50 pm

    I’ve had insurance with State Farm for 20 years and have never filed a claim. I pay $1,700.00 a year for a small two bedroom, one bath, cbs house. What have they done with all the money I paid for 20 years and the grandmother that never had a claim in 50 years. A couple of years ago when State Farm tripled my rates I tried to find a company but had no luck. I hope I don’t have trouble this time. There’s a lot of older, fixed income people living in Florida and we need help. Thanks for listening. LLS

  4. Jerry on January 30th, 2009 7:26 am

    I had a small wood frame house in Century appraised at about $40,000 – an agent in Gonzalez sold me homeowners insurance when most companies wouldn’t even talk to me: The Insurance Lady.

    It wasn’t exactly bargain basement prices, but at least the place was insured.

    To show you how honest they were, a couple of years ago I waited for my renewal form and called them when it didn’t arrive. When I called, they said the reason they didn’t send the form was that I hadn’t bought insurance from them the previous year. When I produced a copy of my check showing I paid it, they researched and agreed that it had been paid but due to their error it had not been sent to the carrier.

    They gave me credit toward the next year’s policy cost for the previous year’s payment instead of charging me again. Now THAT is honesty!

    State Farm and others could take a lesson from this agency.

  5. Terri Sanders on January 29th, 2009 7:03 pm

    The bottom line is with insurance companies like any other companies PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT.Sure wish we could take all the highly overpaid CEO’s out there and the extremely highly over paid politicians and put them on a boat out to sea with the insurance companies. Be assured it is NOT the insurance agents who are making mega bucks….go to the top and find the porkers! My policy on my cmmercial building 60 miles from the gulf….in excess of 10,000 per year.Yet the mortgage holder can get insurance to protect just their interest of $125,000.00 for $145.00 per month.figure that one out.

  6. Jay on January 29th, 2009 10:43 am

    For State Farm or any other insurance companies that sell insurance, if you covered homes and now won’t, then your companies shouldn’t be allowed to peddle other types of insurance in the state either, i.e., automobile, health, or life policies. Go after them Gov. Christ!

  7. ashley on January 28th, 2009 3:51 pm

    Does anyone know what insurance companies will offer home ins. What I am finding out is that a lot of insurance companies do not offer coverage in Fl. due to the strict gov. guidelines. It would be nice if we had a list of ins. companies to switch to, so that we will not get left out in the cold.

  8. Concerned Citizen on January 28th, 2009 10:35 am

    “…’we must take given the realities of the Florida property insurance market,’ State Farm Florida President Jim Thompson said in a statement…”

    The reality of the property insurance market is that people are being dropped left and right because of greed!

    My elderly grandmother’s insurance was dropped after Ivan and is now triple what it was pre-Ivan. In 50 years she has never filed ONE claim against her homeowner’s policy. Yet, they looked for any reason they could find to drop her, even to the point of having her family spend thousands of dollars to fill in her in-ground pool just to keep her policy.

    The regulation of homeowner’s insurance in Florida is simply out of hand. It is about time that the governing agency in our state stands up for the people it represents!!

  9. J.davis on January 28th, 2009 3:37 am

    so much for their moto ” Like a good neighbor, State farm is there” this will impact numerous families in north Escambia, my family being one of them! any recomendations from the folks out here about who is good or who we should consider? thanks, J.