NU Online News Service, July 17, 11:38 a.m. EDT
Allstate says it is ensuring the protection of all of its customers by dropping insurance for about 10,000 customers in South Carolina.
The insurer says its decision does not affect more than 90 percent of its policyholders in the state.
An email from spokeswoman Nancy Lemke explains that Allstate has chosen not to renew homes insured for less than $220,000 that are more than 10 years old, and do not have a motor vehicle insurance policy with Allstate.
Non-renewals be effective begin Oct. 9.
“Allstate’s priority is to make sure we are able to help protect all of our customers in the event they suffer a covered loss,” Lemke says in the email. “To help ensure we are able to do that now and in the future, we must responsibly manage our risk.”
Lemke says affected customers are being contacted by mail and are encouraged to contact their Allstate agent, who may be able to help get alternate coverage from another insurer.
Additionally, South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance announced it will drop insurance for about 3,000 homeowners in South Carolina.
The Associated Press reports the homeowners in coastal counties will receive non-renewal notices throughout the next year.
According to SNL Financial, Allstate holds an 11.6 percent homeowners multi-peril market share in South Carolina—second to State Farm’s 24.65 percent share.
Farm Bureau has a market share of about 5.7 percent, putting it in sixth place among insurers overall.
Allstate’s market share has been shrinking since 2004, when it held a 15.7 percent share. The insurer had about $150.9 million in direct premiums written in South Carolina in 2011—about equal to the amount the company wrote in 2006.
Information from the SC Insurance News Service offers some explanation why insurers may be reducing coastal exposure in South Carolina.
The state has more than 187 miles of direct exposure to hurricanes with insured property value of nearly $192 billion along on the coast. That makes up 28 percent of the state’s total insured property value.
The SC Insurance News Service says more than 100 companies write homeowners insurance in the state and more companies continue to enter the market.