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Progressive to Discontinue 100,000 Home Insurance Policies in Florida: Examining the Trend of Insurers Scaling Back in the State

In another blow to Florida homeowners, another insurer is withdrawing from the Sunshine State. Progressive has confirmed its decision to discontinue 100,000 home insurance policies across Florida, with initial non-renewal notices slated for distribution in December, as reported by WFLA. This move will result in a reduction of half of Progressive’s home policies in the state, according to the outlet.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) predicts that Progressive will cease 47,000 DP3 policies, typically utilized for second homes, and 53,000 policies covering “high-risk properties,” as detailed in the publication. This recent discontinuation of 100,000 policies compounds the 56,000 policies that Progressive opted not to renew in Florida last year.

Despite lawmakers’ persistent efforts to stabilize Florida’s precarious insurance market, providers have been exiting the state. Progressive, headquartered in Mayfield Village, Ohio, under the leadership of CEO Tricia Griffith, joins over a dozen insurers that have either departed or reduced their involvement in the market over recent years. Following a special session in Tallahassee in December, the state senate passed a bill favorable to the industry, reinforcing reinsurance funds and making it more challenging for homeowners to litigate against insurers—a measure experts believed would encourage providers to return to the market.

Nonetheless, the increasing frequency and intensity of storms attributed to climate change are impacting insurers’ financial performance more significantly than legal disputes.

Insurers continue to scale back their operations. In July, Farmers Insurance announced its decision to cease underwriting and renewing policies for Florida homeowners. This resolution affected an estimated 100,000 policies.

As providers exit the state, and with policies being a requirement for most mortgages, homeowners have been compelled to resort to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance for coverage. Originally designed as a last-resort option, Citizens now holds over 1.4 million policies, accounting for 18 percent of the market share, according to the III.

However, Citizens’ customers can anticipate rate hikes. A proposal submitted to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation last month outlined an average 11.5 percent increase in cost for the most common homeowners policy that Citizens offers, set to take effect in December. The 10.2 percent rate increase for commercial policies is scheduled to commence in November.

Read related article: South Florida Property Insurance Prices Will Be Impacted By Climate Change

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