Crist, McCollum: Insurance figures encouraging
By Paul Flemming
The bulk of new property insurance available to Floridians since 2007 has come from largely unregulated surplus lines.
When Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this year vetoed a bill that would have allowed eligible companies to sell homeowners insurance at whatever price the market would bear he did so in part, he said, because his reforms were succeeding in bringing new business to the state.
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty Tuesday presented details of new property-insurance capital in the state that showed most of the gains came from surplus lines, $4.4 billion. In the same period, since 2006, there has been an increase of $509.5 million in regulated-homeowners insurance company private capital in the state.
The 29 regulated companies new to Florida since 2006 had more than 600,000 policies in force at the end of 2008. The surplus-lines companies — they insure mostly high-dollar properties, apartment complexes and condo buildings — had 11,780 policies.
Crist has touted the growth of insurance availability since his reforms of January 2007. On Tuesday Crist remained upbeat. "I’m very pleased there are so many new companies," Crist said.
"My takeaway is we should be very pleased," with the level of new capital that has come into Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum said. "I think you’re presenting a very positive report."