NU Online News Service, June 28, 3:16 p.m. EDT

Esurance and Security First Insurance Co. will be partnering to offer homeowners’ insurance in Florida.

Security First will be underwriting the policies for Esurance, a direct personal automobile insurance company. Policies will come with a range of payment options, says Esurance in a statement.

Allstate Corp. is looking to buy Esurance and independent insurance agency Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. for about $1 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the fall but, for now, Esurance spokesman Danny Miller says the company is “pursuing its own business strategies.”

“We’re excited about being in Florida,” he adds, speaking of the opportunity to bundle home and auto lines for consumers.

Allstate says it has no comment on Esurance’s partnership with Security First, whose chairman and president is former state Senator Locke Burt.

Esurance began selling the homeowners’ insurance product over the phone on June 17.

The statement instructs consumers “who have received a rate increase, non-renewal, or cancelation notice from their insurer” to get a quote over the phone for a Security First policy via Esurance.

Since it started operations in 2005, Security First has attempted to step in to the void left when large, national insurers such as Allstate and State Farm have announced they plan to drop policies in the Sunshine State.

Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Security First had $146.2 million in Florida-only direct premiums written in 2010—an almost 37 percent increase from the prior year, according to Highline Data.   

The company reported net income of about $2 million in 2010.

Highline Data is part of Summit Business Media, which also owns National Underwriter.