We have received many calls these past few months from prior clients inquiring about insurance companies that their agents are trying to place them with. They want to know our thoughts and if we have dealt with them.
Let me begin by explaining the difference between an admitted insurance company and a surplus lines insurance company. An admitted company sells insurance products that are regulated by the state. In Florida, that is the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and if you have an issue with your insurance company, you can turn to DFS for assistance.
However, a surplus lines company can sell insurance products that are not regulated by the state and essentially, they play by their own rules with the state having no authority over them. So to add insult to injury, we recently learned that some surplus lines companies are placing restrictions on unsuspecting policyholders by not allowing them to utilize the services of a public adjuster should they need help with their insurance claim.
Why would an insurance company want to restrict you from seeking help should you need it? Why is it okay for the insurance company to have a field adjuster “help” them, but you can’t have your own adjuster help you? This is terrible public policy and you, the consumer, have no protection and it's not okay.
Surplus gents are currently required to show their efforts to place a policyholder with an admitted company before placing a policyholder elsewhere. This does not seem to be happening as I experienced this myself while looking for a new policy for my parent’s home. Although I specifically requested not to be placed with a surplus lines company, that was the only quote I was provided. I insisted that they continue looking and of course, was provided a quote with an admitted well known company. It turned out that the admitted company was a more affordable policy then the surplus lines company. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on in this instance.
I cannot stress enough the importance that you understand what insurance you are purchasing! It seems apparent that some insurance agents are placing policyholders with surplus lines carriers right off the bat, without fully explaining the difference and type of company, the restrictions and limits within the policy, nor are they searching for coverage with an admitted company.
If you have any questions or concerns about your insurance policy, we are happy to assist and we offer free insurance policy reviews. Please contact us here or call (561) 288-6434.