Fla. Policyholders of Failed Vanguard Given Policy Options

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry P. Lewis approved an order allowing Royal Palm Insurance Co. and Security First Insurance Co. to offer new coverage to the 57,000 homeowner policyholders currently with Maitland-based Vanguard Fire & Casualty Co.

Tuesday’s order follows one Judge Lewis signed last week naming the Department of Financial Services as receiver for Vanguard for purposes of liquidation, effective March 26, and ordering current policies canceled at 12:01 a.m. on April 25.

Each policyholder will receive an offer of new coverage from either Royal Palm or Security First, effective April 25, or upon expiration of the policyholder’s Vanguard coverage, whichever occurs first. Policyholders also will be free to choose other companies for coverage.

Vanguard claimants who need to check on the status of an existing claim, or report a new claim should call the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association at (866) 928-4310.

Questions relating to current Vanguard policy, coverage and claim issues should be directed to Vanguard Fire & Casualty Co. at (866) 830-6423. Policyholders with questions regarding the offers of new coverage should contact their agent or call Royal Palm and Security First at (866) 351-3060.

The Department of Financial Services was named receiver in January for purposes of rehabilitation and has paid more than $6 million in claims using company assets, but determined the company’s cash and reserves are not enough to keep up with claims.

“We want to ensure these Floridians have an offer in hand as they begin to shop for new coverage,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who as CFO oversees the department. “Our top priority is to take care of policyholders and ensure their claims are paid.”

For any other questions, consumers can call the Florida Department of Financial Services at (800) 882-3054. The liquidation order can be viewed at www.fldfs.com/PressOffice/pdfs/LiquidationOrder32207.pdf.

Source: www.fldfs.com