JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thousands of Florida homeowners could be facing the rest of hurricane season without insurance, as Southern Fidelity is set to cancel all policies by Friday.
"People who live in Florida, they know how scary it can be to not have coverage or the thought of not having coverage during a hurricane," said insurance agent Joe Carlucci.
He co-owns Jacksonville's Brightway Insurance. He says he has about 600 policies he and his team are having to re-write.
Clients are now looking for other options.
"A lot of our staff has worked overtime, on weekends taking their computers home," Carlucci told First Coast News. "We've done the same. Worked until 12 o'clock, 1 AM to try to get all these polices done."
Southern Fidelity is in liquidation. A message on its website directs people to a list of frequently asked questions, including urging homeowners to find another company.
Carlucci says some policyholders could switch to Citizens Property Insurance, the state-backed insurer, which estimates it will have more than a million customers by the end of the year.
"Last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, their system crashed, and they had to extend the deadline for all their agents because of all of the volume that they had coming in," he said.
Southern Fidelity is issuing prorated premium refunds for the remaining months the plan no longer covers.
If you have questions, Carlucci suggests calling your agent.
One of those questions may be about flood insurance. For this, Southern Fidelity states, "The Southern Fidelity flood book of business transitioned to the NFIP Direct for handling."
NFIP is the National Flood Insurance Program managed by FEMA. You can call NFIP Direct at (800) 638-6620.
Several insurance companies listed on multiple websites with good ratings in Florida include: State Farm, Allstate, Chubb Insurance, USAA, Amica and American Strategic Insurance (Progressive home insurance). Of course there are many more options.