Encompass Indemnity Insurance, an Allstate Insurance company that sells business through independent agents, has exited the North Carolina personal lines market. As of this month, Encompass is no longer renewing business in the state.
However, the departure of the company, which held approximately 0.1 percent of the total personal lines market share in North Carolina, is not expected to negatively impact the state’s personal lines market, according to agent groups in the state.
The company notified the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) in mid-February that it would no longer write new business effective March 1, 2016, and non-renew all existing policies in the state beginning with policies with an effective date of or around May 1, 2016.
Kerry Hall, NCDOI spokesperson, said Encompass Indemnity notified the Department in an e-mail Feb. 16, 2016, from Rich Golick, Southeast Regional Counsel for Allstate Insurance Co.
Golick said in his e-mail that Encompass market share consisted of about 3,500 auto policies and 4,500 property policies, with about $10.6 million in total premium across all lines. Its products include home and auto coverage, recreational vehicle insurance, boat and watercraft, personal umbrella protection, and motorcycle coverage. In addition to North Carolina, Encompass doesn’t write business in Alaska, Fla., Hawaii, Idaho, Miss., Mt., Neb., N.D., S.D., and Wyo.
“Encompass has made a difficult decision to no longer write new business in North Carolina and to non-renew Encompass auto and property policies in the state. The goal of Encompass is to ensure as smooth a transition as possible and minimize disruption to policyholders. Encompass appointed agency owners are available to assist policyholders in finding auto or property coverage with another carrier,” Encompass Corporate Relations Manager for Media Relations April Eaton said in a statement to Insurance Journal.
Eaton also emphasized the change with Encompass “has nothing to do with Allstate policyholders in the state.”
Hall said the company indicated it will retain its Certificate of Authority to do business in the state and two other Allstate companies will continue to serve the independent agent channel.
Keith Hayes, president of the Professional Insurance Agents of North Carolina (PIANC) and a producer with the Jake A. Parrot Insurance Agency in Kinston, N.C., said he didn’t know why Encompass made the decision to exit, but he suspects it had something to do with the very competitive pricing they had in the state.
“They didn’t have a huge footprint but what they had was very cheaply priced,” Hayes said.
So far, Encompass’ withdrawal has had little impact on the North Carolina personal lines market, Hayes said. Florida-based Heritage PCI, which entered the state last August, is helping to fill any holes left by Encompass. Other companies in the state are also picking up Encompass’ non-renewed business and he doesn’t expect finding a replacement carrier for other policies will be an issue going forward.
He also doesn’t anticipate any other carriers will follow suit.
“I don’t foresee anyone else making an exit like that,” Hayes said.
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