Florida’s fourth-largest homeowners insurer, Nationwide Insurance of Florida, has announced that it will drop from 25,000 to 30,000 homeowners policies as part of a strategy to “reduce its overall exposure,” according to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.
This revelation follows on the heels of an announcement last week in which the company indicated it would not write new policies in Florida after Sept. 1. Nationwide becomes the seventh company to announce it is leaving Florida, or not writing new policies in the state since last year’s devastating hurricane season.
According to the Bradenton Herald, Nationwide–with more than 300,000 homeowners insurance policies in Florida–also becomes the first major Florida insurer to announce such a move.
In the Manatee-Sarasota area, there are 19 Nationwide offices with more than 24,000 policyholders in Southwest Florida.
Nationwide insures 5,923 homes in Manatee and 14,873 in Sarasota, company spokesman Joe Case told the Herald last week.
Last month, state regulators approved an average increase of 21 percent statewide on Nationwide’s home policies and 25 percent for mobile homes.
In Manatee County, that increase will amount to a 29.3 percent increase for homeowners, 27.5 percent for condominiums and 27.7 percent for mobile home owners.
In Sarasota, the increases amount to 21.7 percent for homeowners, 22.6 percent for condos and 27.4 percent for mobile homes.
McCarty said he and Nationwide officials have discussed the possibility of lining up insurers to take on the policies the company eventually drops.
Case reiterated the insurer is “reviewing its entire strategy” in Florida.