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23 November 2017

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Super-regional insurers exposed in west Florida

12 September 2017

"Super-regional" carriers, the Florida-headquartered insurers which have been expanding outside the state, are the leading private carriers in the 12 Florida counties where Hurricane Irma first hit.

They include Universal, United P&C (UPC Insurance), Heritage and Federated National.

Sister publication The Insurance Insider pulled market share data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for the 12 coastal counties from Collier up to Pinellas and Hillsborough, home to Tampa.

Click to enlarge The data showed that by total value of in-force policies that include wind cover, UPC Insurance was the leading carrier across the 12 counties with $36.4bn of exposure and a 6.2 percent market share.

Following close behind were Heritage with a 5.6 percent share, Federated National on 5.3 percent, and Universal and Tower Hill with 5.1 percent apiece.

State-backed insurer Citizens came in sixth place with $28.1bn of value at risk and a 4.8 percent market share.

This highlights the fact that the eastern coast and Miami generally has more coverage from the state scheme than western Florida, sources explained.

However, it appears Citizens took on more higher-risk properties within its smaller portfolio - as it came third on the market share rankings in these counties by direct premiums written for policies including wind coverage.

It wrote $158.3mn of premium and captured a 6.0 percent share.

Universal P&C was the leading carrier by premiums written with $193.1mn and a 7.4 percent market share, followed by Heritage with $170.5mn of premium and a 6.5 percent participation
Federated National and UPC rounded out the top five.

Business was generally well spread out amongst the Floridian carriers with low single-digit market shares prevailing further down the ranks.

Other carriers in the top 10 for both premium and value at risk included Security First and First Protective.

All of these insurers buy extensive reinsurance that triggers at low attachment points, highlighting the fact that unlike Hurricane Harvey, Irma will be largely a reinsurance and retro market event.

The first nationwide insurer to appear on the market share rankings was USAA, which took 14th spot by premiums written with $64.3mn, or 2.6 percent of the total portfolio.

The 12 counties that were studied were Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, DeSoto, Sarasota, Manatee, Hardy, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk.

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