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Eighth Property Insurer Enters Florida Market

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) said the state’s insurance market is continuing to strengthen with more carriers.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Another property and casualty insurer was recently approved to enter Florida’s insurance market, bringing a total of eight new insurers following legislative reforms aimed at stabilizing the market, state insurance regulators said Wednesday.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) said Ovation Home Insurance Exchange, the most recent approval, joins Manatee Insurance Exchange, Condo Owners Reciprocal Exchange, Orange Insurance Exchange, Orion180 Select Insurance Company, Orion180 Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company and Tailrow Insurance Companies.

"Florida's insurance market continues to strengthen, showing signs recent legislation is having positive impacts to the property insurance market,” Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky said. "OIR remains steadfast in our efforts to stabilize Florida's insurance market by implementing legislative reforms and recruiting more insurers to the state. We look forward to continuing this work and promoting a competitive market for policyholders."

OIR also approved the acquisition of Florida domestic property and casualty reciprocal insurer, Trusted Resource Underwriters Exchange, to allow the existing company to grow its footprint in the state and expand its underwriting capacity. As a result of OIR’s approval of the acquisition, more than $1.25 billion of capital is being invested into Florida’s property and casualty insurance market, the agency said.

OIR officials also said Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is showing improvement in its financial strength over the previous years. Citizens' surplus increased by approximately 17.5% from previous years. Citizens posted a net income in 2023 of $746 million compared to a loss of $2.2 billion in 2022. Additionally, Citizens' combined ratio improved from the previous year from 204.4% to 59.5%.

State insurance regulators said they hope to see a continued interest from authorized insurers in the Citizens depopulation program. So far this year, OIR has approved 13 companies to assume more than 354,000 policies from Citizens. In 2023, more than 275,000 policies were assumed from Citizens, reducing Citizen’s exposure by more than $113 billion.

The OIR also said Florida’s domestic property insurance companies produced a combined net underwriting in 2023 that almost broke even, a marked improvement from losing over a billion dollars in the past three consecutive years.  When combined with investments, the domestic carriers showed a net positive income in 2023 for the first time since 2016, officials said.

OIR said 2023 year-end data shows a “much lower degree of uncertainty in the property insurance market,” because insurers reported lower loss reserve development. A loss reserve is the amount the insurer believes that claims will cost. At periodic points in time, an insurer goes back and evaluates how much those claims actually cost and uses that information to inform reserves going forward.

From 2022 to 2023, Florida domestic insurers, including Citizens, have reported a 44.8% decrease from $772 million to $398 million in loss reserve development at the two-year look-back period and a 28% decrease from $224 million to $161 million at the one-year mark.

Additionally, OIR said the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund rates are decreasing for participating insurers by a statewide average of 7.38%. The rate decreases are in part based on modeled loss cost indications, even while exposure grows, officials said.

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