Edward (Ted) Lawson, president and chairman of the Board of Florida-based 21st Century Holding Company, offered comments about Federated National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of 21st Century, following Hurricane Jeanne’s trek through the state.
“First and foremost we would like to assure all of our policyholders that were affected by Hurricane Jeanne that our adjusters are in the stricken area and working hard to help take care of them,” Lawson said. “Our claim lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our offices are staffed and we are responding to our policyholders needs.
“First of all, as with the other storms this season, this hurricane should not impair Federated National or its ability to write business in the future. We believe Federated National has enough reinsurance in place to handle this storm. American Vehicle, our other insurance subsidiary, writes general liability and personal auto insurance and will not be affected.
“After an unprecedented four major hurricanes, Mother Nature has reduced our estimated earnings for 2004 down to approximately break even. Guidance for 2005 however, will remain the same at approximately $2.67 per share (post stock split).”
Lawson went on to add that “The company is presently exploring alternatives to reduce its exposure to these types of storms. Although these measures may increase operating expenses, management believes that they will protect long-term profitability. A basic insurance company’s function is to spread the risk among a group of common interest parties (such as homeowners) but those parties, over time, must bear the risk. At the appropriate time we will need to file for rate relief. However, right now our emphasis is on our insureds, as it should be. We will be reporting our third quarter earnings around November 10th and will have a conference call at that time.”
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