- June 11, 2010
Florida has sometimes had a well-deserved reputation for being an enemy of the insurance industry, with stringent regulations and high capital reserve requirements.
State Farm, which stopped underwriting new homeowners policies in 2009 in Florida and has since returned in a limited capacity, is one of several examples.
State officials say that image is no longer a reality, especially with businesses like Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. One of the largest and oldest title insurance firms in the country, the firm recently moved its executive administration offices from Minnesota to Tampa. “The timing was right for the company to redomicile in Florida, as it is a very important state to us,” Old Republic Chairman and CEO Rande Yeager says in a press release.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, in the statement, says the move was partially made possible by a law the Florida Legislature passed earlier this year. The law eased reserve requirements for title underwriters, eliminated some accounting duplications and placed exemptions on certain taxes. Florida previously had one of the highest premium reserve requirements in states with major title insurers.
“The governor and Legislature have shown what can happen in working together to create a positive and preferable environment in which to conduct business,” McCarty says in the release. “Old Republic has been a reliable, steadfast company since it was first licensed in Florida in 1941 and we are delighted to have them join a growing number of insurance companies domesticating here in Florida.”
Florida is Old Republic's No. 1 market, according to the release. Nearly 14% of its 2 million policies are written in the state.