Whatever Happened to the Auto/Home Package Policy?

Jan 24, 2011

The demise of the package policy that included automobile, homeowner’s and sometimes personal umbrella insurance into one policy is practically complete in Florida. There are still a few left that offer this convenient package and Bissell & Associates represents them, but more on this later.

The series of events that led up to this change began with hurricane Andrew in 1993. This mega-storm shook our state and its insurers to their core and created a collective shudder in insurance boardrooms across the country. Back then, national companies did business in most, if not all, states without regard for geographic boundaries. A company would, for example, back its obligations with its full corporate financial strength in every state it sold policies in. So, a homeowner in FL whose house was lost in a hurricane had some comfort in knowing that his insurer fully backed his policy with all the strength of their national corporation. Fast forward to today and take a look at the insurance company landscape and you’ll see a vastly different scenario. Virtually no large insurer does business here under their national corporate banner. Instead, they've set up subsidiary companies to handle just their FL business in an attempt to insulate themselves from the performance of just one state---ours. Thus, we get for example, St. Farm Florida and Allstate Floridian. Both owned by their parent organization but set up to stand or fail on their individual performance. Others less willing to go through this hassle just pulled up stakes and left altogether. What has filled the void is a procession of underfunded brand new start-up companies that sell homeowners policies only. This is the driver behind the huge decline in the financial stability of the insurance marketplace in Florida and that has us in the bind we now find ourselves.

As a result, insurers that used to offer a package of Auto and Home insurance are gone. Allstate and St. Farm barely write property coverage at all…GEICO and Progressive don’t sell property in FL, period. So the Florida homeowner is left to stitch together a patchwork of insurer’s for each need and may face the dilemma of dealing with 2 or 3 different agents. Not, however, if you deal with an independent agent like Bissell & Associates Insurance. Not only are we a one-stop agency for all your needs and expertly capable at piecing together the right mix of insurer’s to solve your needs. We also represent 3 insurer’s that still offer the 3-legged insurance stool of Auto, Home and Umbrella. All with the same company, on one policy and with one billing statement. So if you’re sad for the day when this was commonplace here or tired of having to deal with multiple companies and agencies, call our agency today. Bissell & Associates.




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