Safeco announced it is leaving Florida's homeowners market, saying it could not compete there.

The Seattle-based insurer said it informed the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation yesterday of its plans to stop renewing homeowners insurance policies beginning in 2006, after this year's hurricane season.

The company said its decision only applies to residential property policies, including homeowners, dwelling fire, renters and condominium insurance. This represents one-eighth of the company's business in the state, Safeco said.

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