Applied Underwriters and its Centauri subsidiaries have affirmed a commitment to underwriting in the Gulf Coast markets, despite recent developments in the sector.
The firm said its Centauri Specialty Insurance and Centauri National Insurance offshoots were still writing new business after ending 2021 with good results, entering 2022 with its ‘A’ rating affirmed by Demotech, the national rating agency, and having its reinsurance treaties completed early enough to avoid capacity problems.
Steve Menzies, chairman of Applied Underwriters, said in a statement: “We are standing solid in the market for our many brokers and their insureds with no compromises in our financial integrity or product quality, as brokers and consumers anxiously seek coverage—often on tight deadlines for renewals and new policies. The demand created by other insurers’ insolvencies and lack of adequate reinsurance financial backing is high, and our staff is meeting it efficiently, with an overall firm delivery commitment that will help sustain the market in the various states around the Gulf and serve our brokers and customers.”
He added: “Since acquiring Centauri, we have increased its infrastructural facilities, collaborating with Applied’s national operations platforms that are among the most sophisticated in the world. Applied’s approach in every one of our insurance operations across the globe has been to create operational, informational, infrastructural and financial foundations that support our companies in every circumstance. We have set just such a construct at Centauri.”
Menzies called the conflict between some states’ legislative positions and the efforts of insurers and the departments that regulate them as a key element of the stress on the entire system.
He added: “Everyone involved in the provision of homeowners insurance works hard to keep the dikes from bursting even in the face of hurricanes and other catastrophic events, but invariably we find ourselves having to wrestle with state legislative measures that ceaselessly work to create a veritable bonanza for plaintiff’s lawyers. Legislatures are lobbied hard and wind up enabling predatory exploiters to extract billions from the system, profiting themselves but leaving the insurance market under extraordinary duress, even, to some degree, broken or, in some quarters, on the verge of collapse.”
He concluded: “Even all of the discipline and sophistication of Applied and its subsidiaries cannot perdure many more years of unjust awards and irrational, frivolous lawsuits. It is our hope that it ends soon and provides some additional strength to the market place. Our insureds in the Gulf states deserve better.”