Make us your home page

Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance

Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

In 2014 and 2015, just over 76,000 policies were moved from Citizens to a Pinellas Park company called Mount Beacon Insurance Company. But that company is no longer writing active policies in Florida and was given authority by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations to transfer policies to a Sarasota-based insurance company called Florida Specialty Insurance Co.

Under the terms of that deal, Florida Specialty is required to issue short-term policies to all Mount Beacon policyholders that give them identical coverage and premiums for the remainder of their policy.

Mount Beacon is among dozens of what's known as take-out companies, insurance companies that are taking on Citizen Property Insurance customers as that quasi-government agency is pushed to cut its policies.

Since 2012, the state has been aggressively reducing the number of property owners covered by Citizens. After a flurry of hurricanes and tropical storms in the mid 2000s, Citizens exploded in size as major insurers cut back in Florida. Citizens, which was created to be the state's insurer of last resort, became the state's largest insurance company with 1.5 million policies.

That put political pressure on lawmakers to lure private companies back into the market and shrink Citizens. The more policies Citizens carries, the greater the potential financial hit on everyone in the state who has insurance. Under state law, Citizens can bill even non-Citizens policyholders if it runs out of cash to pay damage claims after a major storm.

Citizens has trimmed down to fewer than 500,000 by using sometimes controversial methods to shift policy holders to private carriers that have unfamiliar names.

Florida Specialty is instructing agents and customers to go to their website for more information about the move. The site is

Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance 05/24/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2018 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Crystal Lagoon planners brace for chilly ribbon cutting today

    Real Estate

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.

  2. Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016


    Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida's economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state's gross domestic product came from tourism in 2016. The 2016 figures are the most recent available, as …

  3. Dow Jones closes above 26,000 for first time


    The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

    4 p.m.

  4. Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project's office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

  5. Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge


    SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the country's new tax law.