December 7, 2005
CONTACT: Chris Goetcheus (617) 973-8767
|MA Insurance Regulator Informs Cape And Coastal Homeowners Of|
Hingham Mutual Non-Renewals
Approximately 6,500 policyholders may seek coverage through FAIR Plan
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance was informed today that Hingham Mutual Group insurers, Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Danbury Insurance Company, would shortly begin notifying approximately 6,500 homeowner insurance policyholders on Cape Cod, the islands and Plymouth and Bristol county coastal areas of non-renewals beginning in February 2006.
As the two insurers begin the process of sending out required 45-day notices of non-renewal to agents and their policyholders, Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Julianne Bowler contacted the Massachusetts FAIR Plan today to ensure that all impacted policyholders can be transitioned to comparable coverage without interruption.
"The FAIR Plan is ready and committed to getting these families the coverage they need. Policyholders are encouraged to work through their existing insurance agent to obtain a FAIR Plan policy. They may try and seek a policy in the voluntary market, but that will be difficult given the eroding availability in coastal regions," said Commissioner Bowler.
"The FAIR Plan is backed by the entire Massachusetts property and casualty industry and it has the means to provide property owners with coverage who cannot obtain it through normal voluntary market channels," said John Golembeski, President of the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association.
The voluntary market for homeowners insurance on the Cape and islands and in other eastern coastal regions has continued to constrict since 2003. Revised storm models are predicting substantially greater costs if a significant hurricane were to strike Massachusetts coastal areas. The models are used by financial rating agencies to estimate adequate surplus levels that insurers need to maintain. Insurers then must purchase greater amounts of reinsurance to protect against increased risk of catastrophic losses, but the price of reinsurance is climbing significantly following the devastation of the most recent hurricane season.
What Impacted Policyholders Should Do