One company continues to lead the pack in going after customers of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., winning approval from state regulators to make the lion’s share of up to 71,500 March offers.
Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co., based in Clearwater, has been approved for up to 56,500 offers, the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation said last Monday. Southern Oak Insurance Co. was approved for the rest, up to 15,000.
Heritage has transformed from a start-up with no policies four years ago to what a trade publication has called the fastest-growing property and casualty insurer in the United States. Its growth has come overwhelmingly — close to 9 out of 10 customers in recent years — from Citizens takeouts and other state-facilitated transactions. Heritage had just under 250,000 customers heading into the fourth quarter of 2015, ranking it in the state’s top five.
The offers approved for March 2016 offer a built-in marketing advantage: Customers are automatically switched if they take no action. Homeowners have a right to stay with Citizens if they wish, but they must take formal action.
Monday’s announcement brings the total number of potential policies approved for takeouts in 2016 to 277,149. Companies don’t necessarily make the maximum offers that have been approved, and Citizens customers have been getting choosier lately. About 1.3 million takeouts were approved in 2015, though the actual number who left Citizens as of Nov. 24 was just 255,617.
Still, Citizens has shrunk to it smallest size in more than a decade, about 500,000, from a high near 1.5 million, and it’s no secret how. The vast majority of the departures have come through transfer offers in the mail like the ones approved for March. And the company with the biggest appetite to nab Citizens customers remains Heritage.
Source: Palm Beach Post