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Insurance Week: Another Home Insurer Pullout in FL, ‘Tinder Swindler’ Bill in NY & More

February 18, 2022

Major Home Insurer Pulls Out of FL

United Property and Casualty Insurance Co. - one of the top 10 homeowners insurers in Florida, with over 180,000 policyholders - has stopped writing new policies in the state this year, joining the other home and property insurers that have recently pulled out of the Florida market.

“Following the unprecedented 2020 storm season, the significant increase in reinsurance cost, and the worsening litigation trends within many of our markets, UPC has made the difficult decision to suspend new business with effective dates of January 1, 2022 and later,” stated a bulletin the carrier sent to agents in November.

Another insurer, Progressive Insurance, notified policyholders the same month that it wouldn’t be renewing HO-3 and DP-3 policies for homes with shingle roofs that were 16 or more years old. Meanwhile, other insurers are seeking major rate increases.

Some observers say the pullbacks and rate increase requests indicate the state’s insurance crisis may be getting worse and could ultimately lead to a market that has only a handful of carriers.

A number of bills addressing the issue have been slowly progressing through the state’s Legislature. They include SB 1728, which would allow insurers to write more homeowner policies covering just the actual cash value of roofs instead of their full replacement cost. (INSURANCE JOURNAL)

NY Senate Passes ‘Tinder Swindler’ Bill

New York’s Senate passed legislation (SB 166) that would require money transmitters to warn customers about the potential for consumer fraud when making fund transfers. The bill’s passage follows the debut of the hit Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, about a con man who allegedly stole more than $10 million through romance scams. According to the FTC over 56,000 Americans lost more than $547 million in such scams last year. (NEW YORK SENATE, TIMES UNION [ALBANY])

Inflation Driving Up Loss Costs for Auto, Home Insurers

The biggest contributors to the 7.5 percent inflation rate announced by the U.S. Labor Department last week – the highest rate since 1982 – were car and home prices.

Used car prices shot up 45.2 percent from June 2020 to June 2021, while prices for new cars grew 12.2 percent. The rising prices are driving up replacement costs and, along with them, the amount at which a vehicle can be considered a total loss, forcing auto insurers to cover more expensive repairs, according to Susanna Gotsch, an analyst for CCC Intelligent Solutions.

Rising home prices, meanwhile, have already started driving up premiums. Wholesale and specialty brokerage CRC Group reported this month that property insurance renewal costs rose 16 percent last year and that 84 percent of policyholders experienced premium increases. (INSURANCE JOURNAL)

$5.6B Underwriting Loss for U.S. P&C Insurers Through Q3 2021

In the first nine months of last year, U.S. property and casualty insurers had a net underwriting loss of $5.6 billion, according to global data analytics firm Verisk and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Neil Spector, president of underwriting solutions for Verisk, said “catastrophes, including hurricane Ida in September 2021, brought major insured losses,” but “it was an increase in non-catastrophic losses, especially in personal auto, that contributed the most to the worsening of underwriting results in 2021.” (INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA)

-- Compiled by KOREY CLARK

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