TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Thousands of Tampa Bay area homeowners are scrambling as another property insurance company announces plans to pull out of Florida.
The property insurer, United Property & Casualty Insurance Company (United P&C), is waiting for state regulators to approve its plan.
Now, even more policyholders are turning to 8 On Your Side with questions and concerns.
More than 166 thousand policyholders are going to be impacted by this plan. The question is: what’s next?
“My first thought was oh, ‘now it’s happened to me,'” Tim Smith said.
Tim heard it on the news. His insurer, United P&C, filed plans to withdraw from the state.
First, the company had its financial stability rating downgraded by the agency Demotech. Then, the company’s rating was withdrawn altogether.
“I thought I was safe when I got my renewal notice,” Tim said. “I paid them $1,600 already two weeks ago.”
In a press release, the company’s CEO Dan Peed, wrote in part, “Due to significant uncertainty around the future availability of reinsurance… I believe placing United P&C into an orderly run-off is prudent and necessary.”
So, what’s an orderly run-off and how does it impact policyholders?
Mark Friedlander is with the Insurance Information Institute — a group that represents most national insurers.
“An orderly runoff is a very typical process in the insurance industry,” Mark said.
8 On Your Side asked when viewers like Tim would likely have to find a new coverage.
“If the orderly program goes ahead, if it’s approved by Florida’s regulator, then policyholders are safe until the end of the year,” Mark said.
But Mark said he believes more trouble is ahead for United P&C and its customers. The reason — the company wants to withdraw from Florida and three other states.
“You think insolvency proceedings are next?” asked Investigator Mahsa Saeidi.
“Very possible. In fact, subsequent to press release company put out,” Mark replied, “they did a filing with the SEC late last week and they acknowledged that this plan may not work.”
OIR spokesperson Samantha Bequer sent 8 On Your Side the following message:
“OIR is committed to consumer protection and doing everything possible to ensure consumers have coverage available, especially during hurricane season. United P&C is planning an orderly run-off, which means current policyholders will maintain coverage through the end of their current policy term and won’t have the option to renew at the end of their term. If a consumer receives a nonrenewal notice from United P&C, they are encouraged to contact their agent immediately to seek alternate coverage. Additionally, insurers are required to comply with Florida Law regarding the permissible reasons for cancellation or nonrenewal of homeowners policies. This includes a required 120 days’ notice before the effective date of the nonrenewal, to give consumers adequate time to find alternate coverage.”