FLORIDA – January 27, 2009 -- State Farm Florida Insurance Co. officials said Tuesday they will no longer offer property insurance in Florida.
Citing its “weakened financial position,” State Farm Florida Insurance, the state’s largest private property insurer, said it will discontinue coverage for homeowners, renters, condominium unit owners, personal liability, boats, personal articles, and business property and liability policies - about 1.2 million policies statewide.
In Martin County, State Farm has 5,933 homeowner policies; St. Lucie County has 12,760 policies and Indian River County has 7,710 policies.
State Farm’s plan requires approval by the Tallahassee-based Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. The company will not take action on policies until the state’s regulatory process is completed. State Farm Florida said the plan would take two years to implement.
“We will carefully review State Farm’s intended plans to ensure that they are in compliance with Florida law; and we will explore all legal options as well,” said Tom Zutell, spokesman for the agency.
State Farm Florida President Jim Thompson said in a release, “faced with steeply declining resources to cover future claims and expenses, State Farm Florida has little choice. This is not an action we wanted to take, but one we must take given the realities of the Florida property insurance market. We regret the impact this will have on our customers, employees and agents in Florida.”
State Farm said the announcement will not affect the availability and future of State Farm’s 2.8 million auto insurance policies or life insurance, health insurance and other financial services offered by agents of State Farm in Florida.
“This is just the first phase right now,” said company spokeswoman Michal Connolly. “We don’t have much detail right now but we’re working with our agents and doing everything we can to serve our customers.”