8th property insurance company pauses new business in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Another property insurance company announced Thursday it will be pausing new business in Florida “until further notice” amid the state’s ongoing homeowners insurance crisis.

According to a news release obtained by 8 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi, American Traditions Insurance Company will temporarily stop taking new business starting next week. The pause impacts homeowners insurance policies, condo unit owners policies and dwelling policies often used by landlords.

In the release, the company noted that the changes are being made “in order to manage our exposure and remain consistent with our growth projections.”

The changes made to business are effective immediately, according to American Traditions. However, the company said it would honor any eligible quotes that were previously saved through the end of business day Aug. 5.

American Traditions is just the latest of several companies that have either paused new business in Florida or gone bankrupt amid the property insurance crisis impacting thousands of homeowners across the state. Those companies, according to July data from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, are:

American Traditions Insurance Company: Limiting new business

American Traditions announced Thursday it would be limiting new business in Florida, effective immediately.

Universal Property and Casualty: Limiting new business

Universal Property and Casualty has limited new business in Florida.

Progressive Home: Limiting new business

Progressive Home suspended new business in several Florida counties earlier this year.

Monarch: Limiting new business

Monarch, a FedNat company, limited new business in Florida earlier this year. FedNat Insurance Company and its sister companies canceled more than 68,000 policies in May to stay afloat, desperate to reduce exposure in Florida.

Heritage: Limiting new business

Heritage Insurance suspended new business in multiple Florida counties, including Polk County, in June.

Florida Farm Bureau: Limiting new business

Florida Farm Bureau limited new business in Florida earlier this year.

Centauri: Limiting new business

Centauri Insurance limited new business in Florida earlier this year.

Bankers: Limiting new business

Bankers Insurance Group decided to pull out of Florida’s homeowners insurance market this week, according to NBC affiliate WESH.

“This difficult decision was made to allow us to focus on our remaining lines and ensure they remain competitive and profitable,” the group said in a statement to WESH. “As an AM Best-rated carrier, we remain financially sound.”

Gulfstream: Insolvent

According to Citizens, Gulfstream was insolvent as of Aug. 27, 2021. Citizens data shows 32,324 policies were impacted.

Avatar: Insolvent

Avatar was insolvent as of April 13, 2022, Citizens said. A total of 36,569 policies were impacted.

Lighthouse: Insolvent

Citizens data shows Lighthouse insolvent as of May 28, 2022 with 27,244 policies impacted.

FedNat: Insolvent

FedNat was insolvent as of June 29, 2022 with 65,442 policies impacted, according to Citizens.

Southern Fidelity: Insolvent

Southern Fidelity was insolvent as of July 15, 2022 with 78,000 policies impacted, according to Citizens data. An investigation into the failed insurance company is now underway.

Additionally, more than 20 companies are facing a potential ratings downgrade that is threatened coverage for homeowners. Florida officials had been warned of financial chaos if those downgrades happened because mortgage providers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require homeowners to have a policy with an A-rated company.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a temporary fix for the ratings downgrade crisis earlier this week. Regardless of whether a company is downgraded, the governor said impacted homeowners will be able to keep their policies.

“We can use Citizens Insurance as kind of the reinsurer of last resort,” DeSantis said, referring to a program state regulators created with Citizens Property Insurance, providing reinsurance to troubled companies.

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