No news is good news, so they say, and that applies in some ways to the current Florida E&S commercial property market. The absence of Katrina- or Andrew-type events is certainly good news. There is more good news -- at least for consumers -- as rates continue to hold or even fall a bit. The flip side of that is that carriers, brokers, and agents continue to fight for an ever-shrinking market share as a result of business failures, contractions, and lack of funds for insurance at many struggling companies.
According to data from the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO), written premium numbers for the past few years show a very flat profile. In 2009 commercial property taxable premium totaled $1.384 billion. In 2008 it was $1.359 billion, and in 2007, $1.434 billion -- not more than about five percent separated the low and high numbers. Policy count showed slightly less difference, with 101,438 in 2009; 100,934 in 2008; and 98,262 in 2007.