It’s time to put some of the sunshine back in the Sunshine State’s insurance outlook.
Sure, the property market, Citizens and the hurricane fund remain precarious. But no-fault’s PIP may be on the mend thanks to new legislation.
What’s more encouraging, or perhaps overlooked, is that other markets are working fine.
The economy may not be great but the insurance basics from commercial auto and general liability to workers’ compensation and professional liability are there and ready for when it rebounds.
Also agents say the motorcycle insurance market is riding along just fine.
Agencies in Florida plugged away last year and even managed to increase their revenues — more than a third (36.8%) saw commercial lines revenues go up by from 1 to 10 percent in 2011 and another 10% of agents say they boosted commercial lines revenues by even more.
In personal lines, 37% saw revenues go up between 1 and 10 percent and more than 20% boosted personal lines income even more than that.
Those numbers are according to a poll of 113 Florida agents by Insurance Journal.
For 2012, agents in the state are hoping to do even better.
More than 61% expect commercial lines revenues to rise this year and even more — 70% — expect personal lines to go up.
They still have some questions about the state’s economy. Only 45.8% say they see signs of recovery in their commercial business, while only 39.3% see improvement in the economy underlying personal lines.
More than 50% say they postponed raises and hiring in 2011 and only 7.9% hired new employees. For 2012, about the same (39.5%) expect to postpone hiring but 31.4% expect to add staff. Almost 60% hope to add a new carrier in 2012.
OK, so it’s a mixed forecast of sun and clouds. Florida agents may not be wearing shades every day but things are sunnier in the Sunshine State than may have been reported.
At a minimum as one agent who was asked to say something nice put it, “We’re still here.”