Florida homeowners scramble over exit of another major insurer

Florida homeowners scramble over exit of another major insurer
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MIAMI – One of Florida’s largest home insurers is exiting the market, leaving thousands of homeowners scrambling to find new coverage as options continue to shrink in the Sunshine State.

United Property & Casualty Insurance Company, based in St. Petersburg, Announced Thursday that he filed a retirement plan in Florida and also plans to leave three other states.

It arrives right in the middle of hurricane season and in the midst of an exodus of companies from the market.

“The situation we’re seeing today with UPC is another chapter in the downturn in Florida’s private insurance market,” said Mark Friedlander, Florida spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.


Friedlander says Florida’s property insurance market is “the most volatile in the US.” and says virtually every homeowner in Florida will be affected, either struggling to find coverage or paying more for what they have.

Coconut Creek insurance agent Dustyn Shroff said the insurance market in Florida has “collapsed.”

“Citizens Insurance, the company of last resort, was not designed to take on so many policies,” Shroff said. “As a local insurance agent, we find out about these cancellations at the same time the owner does.”

Dr. Allen Lavina and his wife bought a house in Sunrise in 2019. First-time homeowners were able to get insurance and pay their mortgage on time. But recently, the couple received a notice from their insurance company: “We are reducing exposure in the area.”

“We had a good amount of time to find other insurance, however, they don’t insure us because our roof is too old,” Lavina said. “We signed a contract to do our roof, but were told that ‘supplies are behind schedule’ and it will take months for it to be ready. Unfortunately, we now have hazard insurance with our mortgagee, which is of course not ideal given our limited income at the moment.”


David Quiñones started a Facebook group for Floridians left behind by their home insurance. Is named expelled from Florida.

“My homeowners insurance dropped me starting in July and Citizens also turned me down because of an arbitrary rule they passed in February that turned down new policies if the home has ever had more than two non-weather related water claims.” Quinones said. . “So we are really locked out of the market and our mortgage and home are in jeopardy.”

Friedlander said Florida’s elevated hurricane risk is not to blame for the crisis.

“We look into the future in Louisiana and we see that seven storms have hit the state in the last few years, Florida has had no direct hits,” he said. “So you can’t blame the hurricanes. This is 100% a man-made crisis fueled by years of rampant risk fraud replacement schemes and excessive litigation filed against insurers.”


Friedlander zeroed in on roof repair fraud.

“Roof repair fraud schemes are the fuel that lights the fire behind the rampant litigation being brought against Florida property insurers,” he said.

Local 10 News has tips on how to scam-proof your home after a storm

Friedlander said the legislature did not address fraud and litigation issues during last May’s special session on homeowners insurance reform.

Owners said the state needs to do more.

“If they try to put some patches or band-aids on it, we still have an existential dilemma,” Quiñones said. “Like, how are we going to live in Florida?”

Homeowner Neal Bloom also expressed his disappointment at the government’s response.

“I am very disappointed that the Florida government is refusing to acknowledge or do anything about relief,” Bloom said. “I emailed my congressman, but none of his responses were what I wanted to hear. We have a small mortgage on our house, very high credit scores, we pay our bills on time. So I think it’s unfair that people in our situation are being penalized because others chose to file fraudulent claims for new roofs from previous hurricanes, which was the excuse I have for why they let us down like this.”


Bloom recently had to return to the Citizens group after his company dropped him, which increased his premium by more than $1,000 per year. He said he ended up having to spend thousands of dollars just to pass the inspection required by the company.

For some, like Lavina, the crisis makes them question whether they want to stay in the Sunshine State.

“My wife and I are trying to decide if we are going to stay in Florida,” Lavina said.

Friedlander said he doesn’t expect things to get better anytime soon.

“We see no signs of stability at this time and unfortunately we expect to continue to see a deterioration in the Florida insurance market for the rest of the year,” he said.

Insurance insolvencies, exits from the market

Several home insurers filed for bankruptcy in 2022, Friedlander said. He provided a list of companies that have become insolvent or have gone out of business.

Florida Home Insurance Bankruptcies in 2022:

  • Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Company

  • Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation

  • Southern Fidelity Insurance Co.

  • St. Johns Insurance Company.

  • Weston Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Florida home insurer that announced its exit from the market due to the current volatility and litigious environment (the company will continue to write small commercial, renters and flood insurance in Florida):


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