Plans to drop 60,000 home policies in the US state of Florida

Nationwide Insurance of Florida has decided to reduce its personal lines property exposure in the state of Florida, by non-renewing 60,000 homeowners policies across the state – reported Insurance Journal.

Nationwide has stated that Tower Hill Group, a Florida-based homeowners insurance company, has accepted to consider writing many of the dropped policies.

As per the source, Nationwide’s non-renewals are scheduled to commence in July 2010 and would not affect any customers during the 2009 hurricane season. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has confirmed that the insurer has filed its non-renewal plan with the state as required by law. The policyholders will have a choice whether to insure with Tower Hill or seek another insurer as Tower Hill Insurance has accepted to assume the policies.

After its 60,000 non-renewals, Nationwide stated that it will still have more than 275,000 total policies in Florida, including 45,000 personal lines property policies. The others include auto and boat policies.

The state is still trying to sort out the details of a withdrawal from the home insurance market sought by State Farm Florida, which says that it wants to leave as it has been denied rate hikes it needs. An administrative hearing on that dispute is now set for November 17.

State Farm has received backdoor rate relief, however, in the form of being allowed to discontinue some policyholder discounts. OIR has approved a State Farm filing to eliminate discounts ranging from 5 to 20% for having more than one policy with the company, for installing home alert systems and for not having filed a previous homeowners claim. According to the OIR, The overall premium impact of of this decision is 28.4%, quoted the Journal.