After shunning Florida, State Farm again writing new homeowners policies here

Published March 4, 2014

They're back. Nearly five years after it stopped writing new homeowners policies in Florida, State Farm is getting back in the game.

State Farm spokeswoman Michal Brower said the insurer has told agents that it is writing a "limited" number of new homeowners and renters policies in the state. The decision marks a sharp reversal from the insurer's longstanding contention that it cannot make money in Florida. A string of hurricane-free years, rising rates and reduced exposure to perils like sinkholes have all improved Florida's appeal to insurers..

For years, Illinois-based State Farm was the largest private property insurer in the state. Unable to win significant rate increases in 2009, it threatened to pull out of Florida entirely until reaching an agreement with state regulators to remain in the state while dropping 125,000 residential policies. Its currently policy count is under 450,000, Brower said, less than half the size of state-run Citizens Property Insurance.