I just read the following article in the Tampa Bay Times: In ‘placid times’ two Tampa Bay insurers make Fortune’s fastest-growing list. This section of the article stood out to me:
Eight Florida companies, including two Tampa Bay area insurance businesses, made Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 fastest growing companies for 2015.
Tampa’s HCI Group and St. Petersburg’s United Insurance Holdings are ranked No. 31 and No. 45, respectively.
‘Who knew how crucial Florida weather is? Another property and casualty insurer enjoys placid times, bolstered by revenues from windstorm policies," said Fortune of HCI’s strong performance on the annual list. Insurance companies tend to prosper when there are few storms to prompt claims by policyholders. HCI ranked No. 2 last year.
And here’s what Fortune said in a similar vein about new-to-the-list United Insurance: "Have we mentioned that sunny, calamity-free times have given a vitamin C injection to Florida insurers? Strategic expansions also contributed in this case.’
It does not take an actuarial prodigy to figure out that because we have had no hurricanes in the recent years, companies are prospering. Does this “prosperity” translate into lower premiums for policyholders? No! In fact Florida has the highest homeowners insurance premiums in the entire country. (See http://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-of-homeowners-insurance).
So here we are asking the same question every year…if we haven’t had hurricanes in the last seven years, why are Florida policyholders paying the highest premiums in the country? Industry supporters will offer a host of reasons: public adjusters, lawyers, sinkholes, water damage, surplus needs, werewolves, and others. In direct opposition to the premise of this article, we have constantly been told that the insurance industry in Florida is not prospering and that they continue pay out “record” claims for all the reasons I have already listed. Which is it? Are high premiums in Florida justified because the carriers are barely scraping by or do insurance companies prosper when there are no storms to prompt claims?
“You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan