Homeowners Choice Assumes HomeWise Policies in Florida

November 8, 2011

Homeowners Choice Property and Casualty Insurance Co. said it has acquired HomeWise Insurance Co.’s book of business in Florida.

Approved by state regulators, the deal adds 70,000 Florida homeowners to Homeowners Choice. Out of the assumed policies, 28,000 are in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Additionally, Homeowners Choice will receive about $53 million in unearned premiums.

Homeowners Choice CEO Paresh Patel said the deal nearly doubles the size of his company.

“We have acquired large numbers of policies before and are confident we can handle this transaction as well with minimal disruption to our operations. Our financial strength enabled us to satisfy the regulators and move quickly to consummate this transaction,” Patel said.

Founded in 2006, the Clearwater, Florida based Homeowners Choice reported 59,000 policyholders in Florida, representing $130 million in annual premiums, before this transaction.

In September, the Tampa, Florida-based HomeWise lost its only rating when the firm Demotech pulled its rating. Florida requires every homeowners insurer to have at least one financial rating to do business in the state.

That same month, an affiliated company, HomeWise Preferred, was placed into state receivership after regulators found it did not have the money to pay claims while in run-off mode.

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