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Florida carriers aim to temporarily restrict business

Hurricane evacuation route sign.jpg

Several carriers in Florida are planning to or have changed their underwriting guidelines for new and existing homeowners’ business ahead of June 1 reinsurance renewals, citing increased reinsurance renewal pricing and exposure management, this publication understands.

Some of these carriers include Nationwide and Universal North America.

The pullback mirrors what the state went through last year before and after June 1, when many carriers paused or suspended writing new and existing business, and multiple local carriers went under.

Pending regulatory approval, Nationwide’s changes are estimated to impact 15,000 homeowners’ policies in Florida and 10 states overall. The roll off begins in late October and will continue for the following 12 months, Inside P&C has learned.

According to an agent letter seen by this publication, Universal North America has notified agents that the company is temporarily restricting its underwriting guidelines for new and existing homeowners’ business in Florida.

Effective May 26, Universal NA will be open for new business that is 2020 or newer construction. For eligible new business risks located in the windpool, a 5% hurricane deductible is required. Escambia, Franklin, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties are closed for new business.

The company will continue to accept eligible new business in the remainder of the state. Pasco and Hernando counties remain closed. Universal NA also disclosed deductible changes for policy renewals.

A Nationwide spokesperson said: “We are working with Florida OIR and are not taking any immediate action in Florida.

“Like everyone else in our industry we are taking necessary actions that ensure long-term viability and allow us to offer protection at a competitive price to customers across all our business lines who represent many types of needs.

“These are tough decisions, but the right decisions that will enable us to be here long term for our customers.”

Universal North America did not respond to a request for comment.