After the monster storm Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in 1992, 16 insurers went under as claims swamped some smaller companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Though Florida insurers are now backed by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, insolvency can lead to delays in the claims process.
A new study by ratings firm Weiss Ratings ranked Florida windstorm insurers on the basis of their financial soundness. All are not equally prepared to handle post-hurricane claims, it found.
The firm evaluated 135 companies on a scale of A through F ratings based on the safety of its investments, cash reserves, profitability, liquidity/cash flow and years in operation.
"Many Florida homeowners are still waiting for their insurance claims to come through after a severe hurricane season last year," said Gavin Magor, Weiss Ratings director of research, in a news release. "If the 2018 hurricane season is similar or worse, it could compound the problem, raising questions about the ability of weaker insurers to promptly cover major damages."
Weiss Ratings gives these 10 companies the highest marks:
- Amica Mutual Insurance (B+)
- Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida (B+)
Castle Key Insurance Company (B+)
Cincinnati Insurance Company (A)
Citizens Property Insurance Company (A+)
Southern Fidelity Insurance Company (B+)
Southern-Owners Insurance Company (A)
United Services Automobile Association (A-)
USAA Casualty Insurance Company (A-)
USAA General Indemnity Company (B+).
Rating lowest were these companies:
Anchor P&C Insurance Company (D)
Edison Insurance Company (D+)
Florida Specialty Insurance Company (D)
Olympus Insurance Company (D+)
People's Trust Insurance Company (D+)
Prepared Insurance Company (D)
Tower Hill Preferred Ins Company (D)
Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company (D)
Universal P&C Insurance Company (D)
White Pine Insurance Company (D+)
Those who are considering buying homeowners insurance can sign up to check a company's score on Weiss Ratings' website.