Applied Underwriters sells off Sarasota subsidiary to coastal risk insurer

Buyer will address admitted insurance needs of homeowners and property investors

Applied Underwriters sells off Sarasota subsidiary to coastal risk insurer

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Applied Underwriters has announced the sale of its Sarasota-based Centauri Insurance to Lilypad Insurance, a new subsidiary of climate risk solutions provider Arbol Inc.

Following the sale, Applied Underwriters will continue to operate its personal lines through its Home National division, focusing on its rapidly expanding property business portfolio.

The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close within the next 45 days. Centauri, which has operations in Florida and Louisiana, will be integrated with Lilypad Insurance to meet the admitted insurance needs of homeowners and property investors across the US.

See LinkedIn post here.

Bob Courtemanche, CEO of Home National, commented on the resilience and growth of Centauri as it weathered many major storms, including Hurricane Ian.

“Meanwhile, we at Home National have diversified and grown our MGA business platform rapidly, gaining traction in higher limit business, such as commercial condo and apartment complexes, higher-end homes, and shared and layered placements — all almost entirely in the E&S space,” Courtemanche said. “The level of climate risk specialization now needed for the hurricane-exposed admitted markets makes this strategic transaction meaningful for all parties. We welcome Lilypad to the field.”

Jamie Sahara, president of Applied Underwriters, also highlighted the strategic importance of leadership continuity in addressing the complexities of coastal insurance.

“We are pleased that our Centauri team will move to Lilypad and be joined by other accomplished professionals to serve policyholders effectively,” Sahara said. “In fact, the admitted property market requires the extraordinarily narrow, concentrated focus of sector specialists with long-term insight and the kind of advanced climate data analysis and related technology that Arbol brings.”

“A direct response to the growing insurance coverage gap”

Ricardo Espino, CEO of Lilypad, emphasized the potential of the new venture.

“We established Lilypad as a direct response to the growing insurance coverage gap in catastrophe-prone areas,” he said. “By leveraging Arbol's advanced climate data and technology infrastructure, we are uniquely positioned to offer tailored insurance solutions to address the risks and challenges of coastal living– no small task, but one for which we may now apply Arbol's sophisticated climate instrumentation to succeed in.”

Lilypad Insurance COO and former Centauri senior leader Traci Stillwagon affirmed the continuity of service, expressing gratitude to Applied Underwriters for their support during the transition.

She emphasized the commitment to providing uninterrupted coverage to Centauri's clients and noted that integrating Centauri's existing capabilities into Lilypad represented a significant step forward in their mission to protect coastal homeowners.

“This transaction not only extends our market reach immediately but also enhances our product offerings, ensuring that more homeowners have access to insurance coverage. Operations and policies for Centauri Specialty Insurance Company and Centauri National Insurance Company will continue without disruption, and Lilypad remains committed to continuing the excellent standard of service for Centauri's clients,” she said.

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