Palm Beach County homeowner Justin Goldberg has a word for South Florida’s insurance market: “Insane.”
He has had six insurance companies in nine years, he said. With hurricane season looming June 1, he was forced to shop again because People’s Trust Insurance Co. dumped him.
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Rating the insurers
Among Palm Beach County’s top 30
Most complaints per capita: Florida Peninsula Insurance Co.
Fewest complaints: Federal Insurance Co.
Best Weiss rating for Florida-based insurer: Citizens Property Insurance Corp, A+
Worst Weiss rating: Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Co. E+
Best Demotech rating: ASI Preferred Ins. Co., A”
Got a gripe?
You can complain about an insurance company to the state’s Department of Financial Services at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
To see more choices
Consult agents, insurance company websites and other online services, or check out a state website that lists sample premiums from insurers in operating in Palm Beach County. Remember not every insurer listed is necessarily writing policies in your ZIP code, and costs can vary widely with a home’s age, location and features. Click on “homeowners” and then “select by county.”
Scoring Palm Beach County’s top 30 property insurers
Company/Palm Beach Co. customers/Weiss grade/Demotech rating/Complaint rank
1. Citizens Property Insurance Corp./ 100,708/A+/Not rated/2
2. Universal Property and Casualty Ins. Co. /56,905/E+/A/10
3. United Property & Casualty Ins. Co./ 20,689/C/A/21
4. Florida Peninsula Ins. Co. / 18,877/D/A/1
5. Homeowners Choice P&C Ins. Co./ 18,863/D/A/15
6. Heritage P&C Ins. Co./16,127/C/A/24
7. People’s Trust Ins. Co. / 15,063/D/A/13
8. Federated National Ins. Co./13,874/D/A/19
9. State Farm Florida Ins. Co./ 12,733/C-/Not rated/11
10. American Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla./12,052/B/Not rated/26
11. St. John’s Insurance Co./ 11,643/D/A/18
12. Tower Hill Signature Ins. Co. /10,020/D/A/9
13. Tower Hill Prime Ins. Co. /9,015/D/A/14
14. Ark Royal Ins. Co. /8,896/C-/A/25
15. Southern Oak Ins. Co./ 7,769/D+/A/6
16. Florida Family Ins. Co./7,652/C/A’/27
17. ASI Preferred Ins. Co. / 7,619/C/A”/28
18. United Services Automobile Assn. / 6,412/A+/Not rated/29
19. Hartford Ins. Co of the Midwest/5,956/B/Not rated/16
20. American Integrity Ins. Co. of Fla./ 5,768/D/A/17
21. Castle Key Ins. Co./ 5,341/B-/A’/4
22. Federal Ins. Co./ 5,290/B+/Not rated/30
23. Tower Hill Select Ins. Co. / 5,114/D+/A/7
24. Tower Hill Preferred Ins. Co. / 5,060/D/A/5
25. Castle Key Indemnity Co. / 4,995/B/A’/22
26. Security First Ins. Co./ 4,690/C/A/3
27. Olympus Ins. Co. / 4,675/D+/A/12
28. Universal Ins. Co. of North America/ 4,246/C-/A/20
29. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co. /4,148/C+/Not rated/8
30. Cypress P&C Ins. Co./ 3,974/C-/A’/23
What the Ratings Mean
Weiss Ratings, Jupiter — A means top financial strength including ability to pay claims,Emeans weakest. Weiss has been rating property and casualty insurers since 1993 and does not take money from insurers. It says it ratings are consumer-oriented. Ratings are based on data through the fourth quarter of 2013. Website: weissratings.com
Demotech, Inc., Columbus, Ohio — A” is its top financial strength rating, followed by A’ and A, and others. Incorporated in 1985, Demotech plays an important role in determining which insurers are considered acceptable in the mortgage lending marketplace. It does not rate state-run Citizens, and covers some but not all affiliates of large, national insurers. Ratings are the latest available on its website: demotech.com
Complaint rank — Ranking No. 1 is not so good here. It means a company has the most complaints relative to its number of customers. No. 30 means the lowest complaint ratio among this group. The ratio measures how many complaints about an insurer statewide came in to the Florida Department of Financial Services in 2013, relative to its number of Florida customers.