Best’s News Service via Bestwire – June 06, 2017 01:50 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has given approval to National Specialty Insurance Co. and Southern Oak Insurance Co. to remove a combined 19,520 of Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s personal residential policies for the take-out period ending Aug. 22.

The take-out announcement marks the latest step in the continuing effort to depopulate Citizens, which has been among the state’s leaders in writing homeowners multiperil insurance despite being the insurer of last resort. For years, Citizens was the leader in writing homeowners multiperil policies, peaking at 1.5 million in 2012. The OIR said it has approved 89,244 Citizens policies for take out so far in 2017, with 12,276 removed by private insurers, about 13.7% of the total offered.

The OIR gave Southern Oak Insurance Co. approval to remove up to 15,000 Citizens personal residential policies, 10,000 from Citizens’ coastal account and 5,000 from its personal lines account. National Specialty Insurance has been approved to remove up to 4,520 personal residential policies, all from the Citizens’ coastal account.

This is the third time Southern Oak has been authorized to take out 15,000 policies in recent months. Deadlines to assume policies they selected from the first two authorizations were set for Feb. 21 and April 18 (Best’s News Service, Feb. 2, 2017). This is National Specialty’s first take-out approval of 2017 and it was given four take-out offers in 2016. It was last approved to take up to 2,217 residential policies from the Citizens coastal account by Dec. 20, 2016 (Best’s News Service, Oct. 4, 2016).

National Specialty Insurance Co. has a Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent). The company wrote nearly $39 million in direct premiums in Florida, about 21.9% of direct premiums written, second only to Texas, according to BestLink. National Specialty writes almost exclusively policies for automobile physical damage.

The top five writers of homeowners multiperil insurance in Florida during 2016 were Universal Insurance Holdings Group, with an 8.95% market share; Tower Hill Group, with 6.90%; State Farm Group, with 6.90%; Federated National Insurance Co., with 4.88%; and Citizens Property Insurance Corp., with 4.87%, according to BestLink.