Florida’s property insurance market is showing signs of life, as another insurance company looks to expand to the Sunshine State.
This week, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced Texas-based Mainsail Insurance Company plans to write insurance policies in the state.
Mainsail is the second company to expand to Florida after the tort reform legislation passed earlier this year, designed to significantly cut down lawsuits faced by insurance companies.
“The addition of Mainsail Insurance Company to the Florida market is evidence that recent legislative reforms are having a positive impact for consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky.
Florida homeowners are used to hearing about insurance companies go out of business —eight in the last two years — or leave the state, so news of expansion is seen as a positive for many who follow the industry.
“We know there are active discussions taking place with other insurers that are interested in starting to write home insurance Florida,” said Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute.
“We don’t know what the timetable will be, but the fact that they are interested is a good sign.”
Tampa-based HCI announced last week that the company had applied for up to 75,000 policies from Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort.
By the end of the year, more than 300,000 Citizens policies will move to the private market.
But with the good news comes the bad. This week, another Tampa-based insurer, Heritage, announced in an earnings call that the company has shed more than 15% of its Florida policies in the last year.
“By no means has the market become stable. That’s a really important point,” said Friedlander. “These are steppingstones to get to a stable state in the Florida property insurance market.”