Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include estimates for the number of policyholders affected from the Insurance Information Institute.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Progressive will not be renewing some homeowners insurance policies in Florida, the company confirmed Friday to WFLA.
A Progressive spokesperson said the company has begun required regulatory filings and will send out its first non-renewal notices in December. The first non-renewals will go into effect in May 2024 and will continue on a rolling 12-month basis.
The change affects DP3 (dwelling/fire) policies and other “direct and agency property policies,” the spokesperson said. The company did not immediately say how many policyholders would be affected.
However, research from the Insurance Information Institute estimates that about 100,000 policyholders will be affected, which is 50% of its current policies in Florida.
Progressive is expected to cancel 47,000 DP3 policies, which generally deal with secondary residences, and 53,000 “high-risk properties,” according to the Insurance Information Institute.
“Florida property remains an important part of our Progressive Home business, and we have no plans to leave the state,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “However, we have been working collaboratively with state officials and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to implement changes that allow us to rebalance our exposure while continuing to serve Florida homeowners.”
The policyholders that will be affected will be offered replacement policies through Loggerhead Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange.
“The actions we’re taking are necessary to ensure that we can continue to write business in Florida in a meaningful way — and we expect these actions will better position us to build a stronger, more stable, and more competitive Progressive Home business for consumers and independent agents in the long run,” the spokesperson said.
Progressive also didn’t renew 56,000 policies last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Twice last year, Florida lawmakers passed sweeping property insurance reforms meant to stabilize the market and keep insurers in the state. But, they’re still reducing their footprint or leaving altogether.
Farmers Insurance previously announced it would also be canceling about 100,000 policies in Florida, citing risk management.
Critics of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, say he has focused too much effort on divisive cultural issues and not enough on making housing and insurance more affordable. The Legislature has grappled with the issue each of the last two years, including a special session in December.
Most of the focus has been on shielding insurance companies from lawsuits and setting aside money for re-insurance to help protect insurers.
At the end of 2022, average annual property insurance premiums had risen to more than $4,200 in Florida, which is triple the national average. About 12% of homeowners in the state didn’t have property insurance, compared with the national average of 5%, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a research organization funded by the insurance industry. At least six insurers went insolvent in Florida last year.
Florida has struggled to keep the insurance market healthy since 1992, when Hurricane Andrew flattened Homestead, wiped out some insurance carriers and left many remaining companies fearful to write or renew policies in Florida. Risks for carriers have also been growing as climate change increases the strength of hurricanes and the intensity of rainstorms.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.