Several new insurance companies are making their way into the Florida market as major insurers opt to leave the state. This influx of newcomers, however, is presenting challenges for policyholders seeking alternative options. Richard Estrella, the Vice President of Estrella Insurance Agency based in Florida, emphasized that policyholders are insured by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) if they are domiciled in the state, as everyone has contributed to it.
To ensure the financial stability of these incoming companies, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is responsible for vetting them. The most important indicator of a reliable insurance company in Florida is a financial stability rating of “A” assigned by Demotech.
Slide Insurance, led by CEO Bruce Lucas, is one such company that has earned an “A” rating. Despite being relatively new, having been in business for only three years, Slide Insurance is one of the largest home insurers in Florida with an impressive balance sheet. Lucas acknowledges that the company is still not well-known to many consumers, but it is assuming policies from Citizens Property Insurance and extending offers to displaced Farmers policyholders.
Lucas believes that Slide Insurance has an advantage over established companies due to its novelty. He points to the flood of insurance lawsuits that prompted lawmakers to pass reforms last year, stating that the legacy market remains cautious until these reforms are tested. If the outlook is positive and lawsuits are reduced, Estrella predicts a resurgence in the market, leading to greater stability in prices.
As the insurance landscape in Florida continues to evolve, policyholders are urged to carefully consider the financial stability ratings of insurance companies. While new players like Slide Insurance offer potential benefits, it is important to assess their ability to meet policyholder claims in the long run. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation remains committed to ensuring that policyholders have access to financially sound options.