Friday, January 29, 2010

"State Farm won't renew thousands of Fla. policies"

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - AP – Thousands of State Farm Florida property insurance customers will be seeing notices in their mailboxes next week saying their policies will not be renewed, a company spokesman said Thursday.

The first wave of notices will be mailed Monday to a selected number of the company's policyholders who were set to renew Aug. 1, spokesman Chris Neal said.

It's part of an agreement reached with the Office of Insurance Regulation in December. The company is cutting 125,000 policies in the next 18 months to reduce its liability in hurricane-prone Florida, where State Farm insures nearly 714,000 homeowners.

State Farm, which quit writing new homeowners policies in Florida two years ago, will send its final notices early next year for policies that would be otherwise renewed in the last week of July 2011. Most of the policies not being renewed are in high-risk coastal areas.

The Florida company is a subsidiary of the Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Insurance, one of the world's best capitalized insurers...

The company said last January it would stop writing property insurance in Florida after Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty rejected a 47.1 percent rate increase. State Farm officials said they needed the big increase to remain financially viable.

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