Progressive issues non-renewal notices in Florida

"I was shocked, I was stunned" says resident

Progressive issues non-renewal notices in Florida



Last year, Progressive announced that it would not renew certain homeowners’ insurance policies in Florida to “rebalance our exposure,” starting in May this year. Those non-renewal notices have already started arriving.

“Dear Policyholder, your policy will expire at 12:01 on July 1, 2024, for the following reasons. After careful consideration we are unable to offer you a renewal policy due to a reduction in our hurricane exposure. Please contact your agent to find replacement coverage,” the letters read.

“I was shocked, I was stunned,” Ira Kasdan told ABC Action News. “There may be a time where as much as we love Florida we may not be able to stay here.”

The news comes as Citizens Insurance, the insurer of last resort for the state that Ron DeSantis (pictured) has called insolvent, had some good news. It reported approximately 1.162 million policies last Friday, a decrease from 1.18 million policies the previous week and 1.175 million policies two weeks prior, based on the data available on the Citizens website.

Last week, six private insurance companies — Slide Insurance Co., Florida Peninsula Insurance Co., Edison Insurance Co., Southern Oak Insurance Co., American Traditions Insurance Co., and People’s Trust Insurance Co. — received regulatory approval to take over policies from Citizens.

This action is a part of what is referred to as a Citizens’ “depopulation” program.

Originally established as a safety net insurer, Citizens has grown to become the state’s largest property insurer in recent years. This growth has occurred as private insurers have been letting go of customers and increasing rates due to financial difficulties.

Citizens’ policy count peaked at approximately 1.412 million in the fall of 2023 but has since seen a decrease owing to the depopulation program.

When news broke about the insurer cutting back in the state, a company spokesperson confirmed the move to local news channel WFLA and mentioned that Progressive had already initiated the necessary regulatory filings to enact the change.

The non-renewals primarily impacted DP3 policies, which are usually for second homes, as well as other “direct and agency property policies.”

While the spokesperson did not provide exact figures, the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) projected that about 100,000 policyholders would be affected by the pullback.

This equated to 50% of the insurer’s policies in the state at that time, according to Triple-I, affecting 47,000 DP3 policies and 53,000 policies for properties deemed as high risk.

The Progressive spokesperson stated that notices were sent out to affected policyholders in December, while the first wave of non-renewals took effect in May 2024.

“Florida property remains an important part of our Progressive Home business, and we have no plans to leave the state,” they noted further. “However, we had been working collaboratively with state officials and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to implement changes that allowed us to rebalance our exposure while continuing to serve Florida homeowners.”

Progressive’s decision came as Florida continued to grapple with a property insurance crisis, driven in part by the state’s vulnerability to natural disasters and the intensification of extreme weather events.

Florida lawmakers had sought to address these challenges with sweeping property insurance reforms in an attempt to stabilize the market and encourage insurers to remain in the state. However, experts said it might take some time before the full impact of these changes was felt.

In 2022, Progressive chose not to renew some 56,000 policies, according to Triple-I.

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