S.C. DoI Monitoring Florida Select Insurance Co.’s Activities

July 5, 2006

The Department of Insurance has announced it is closely monitoring the activities in South Carolina of Florida Select Insurance Co. activities in the state after Florida placed the company into receivership June 30.

“We are working closely with the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation to ensure that South Carolina policyholders are treated fairly and equitably,” Elanor Kitzman, DOI director said. “We are also conducting our own investigation and analysis and will take whatever steps necessary to make certain that South Carolina policyholders are fully protected.

“There has been no finding of insolvency, so we have no reason to believe that Florida Select will be unable to pay its claims at this time,” Kitzman explained. “In the unlikely event that the company cannot pay its claims, South Carolina policyholders are covered by the South Carolina Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Fund.”

Kitzman acknowledged that the potential loss of a coastal property insurer could worsen an already tight market for property insurance in the coastal areas of South Carolina.

“I hope that Florida Select will be successfully rehabilitated and will continue to be a viable market for South Carolina consumers,” Kitzman said. “The department is continuing it efforts to recruit new insurers to South Carolina and is working with existing insurers to increase the availability of coastal property insurance. I am confident these efforts will pay off and that coverage will continue to be available for South Carolina consumers.”

Kitzman explained that insurers experiencing some financial problems are often put into rehabilitation. She said that through the rehabilitation process, regulators will attempt to conserve and administer the assets of the insurance company in hope of its eventual return to financial strength.

Florida Select writes homeowners’ and dwelling fire policies in Florida and South Carolina. The order of rehabilitation named the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation as Receiver of Florida Select for purposes of rehabilitation.

The order does not call for the cancellation of any existing policies and the company has not been ordered to discontinue writing new policies. Under an order of rehabilitation, the receiver steps into the shoes of an insurer experiencing financial difficulty and attempts to conserve and administer the assets of the insurance company to determine if it can be returned to a position of financial strength.

Source: South Carolina Department of Insurance

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