Ocean Harbor & The Non Standard Market in Florida

Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance Company, founded in 1986, is a home and auto insurer focused on business in the Northeast, Southeast, Mid Atlantic and Gulf states. In Florida they  are known to offer strictly auto and more for the non standard markets. Non standard in the insurance agency lexicon is a kind way of saying clients that live paycheck to paycheck, and/or have poor credit, and or have a history of accidents/dui’s/, and finally tend to pay their premiums in cash or money orders. Ocean Harbor is usually the queen of this group in South Florida and Windhaven is the king. There is a prince that is Responsive Auto and a few other second born princes like Federated, or AMSWINS but those carriers have limits on the amount of risk they will carry based on where.

Nevertheless, Ocean Harbor is rated A’ (A Prime) by Demotech, Inc. and rated B by A.M. Best Company, and is a member of the Ocean Harbor Insurance Group, therefore the company has a solid risk overview from the rating companies. Why you ask? Great question faithful reader..its because non standard companies make lots of money. Why aren’t there more competitors then to bring the price or premiums to be exact down? Because it is difficult to set up the companies to meet Florida statutes and still conduct business profitably. In the case of non standard carriers, there is always seemingly a Holding company or General Agency (MGA) that recruits agents to write business. My guess is that there political contributions to the Governor, but to be honest I don’t know why there aren’t more companies in Florida competing with Ocean Harbor for business. For instance in Texas there are over 15 companies that represent this demographic while in Florida (or South Florida to be exact) there are only 4 or 5. That being said the premiums are just about half of South Florida and secondly the population centers are much smaller. We have heard complaints about Miami traffic but who hears about complaints about San Antonio? The population centers are just not nearly as dense. Of course Florida has more football teams than Texas but the amount of combined wins is just about the same (joke). So why is there is less non standard auto carriers? I understand higher premiums in South Florida but the whole state seems to have higher premiums. I guess these questions don’t belong on the Ocean Harbor page which just got me wondering.

Here is the part about Ocean Harbor being represented by Pearl Holding Group..

Pearl Holding Group is a managing general agent that has been operating in the state of Florida since 1991. Pearl Holding Group represents Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance Company and Equity Insurance Company. Both policies have been copied with lower rates by Windhaven but they had to get rid of on of them because it’s losses were too high. The difference being was that Ocean makes you sign your policy in person so the agent can see your car to check for damage. The amount of fraud that eliminates apparently is vast! Still, most agencies are on a budget with Ocean and can only write a certain amount of policies with certain coverage.

Still as they say, “both companies solely specialize in personal auto insurance with basic limits providing you with the most value for your insurance dollar.” And I can’t argue the fact that they are the best priced in many demographics.

Ocean Harbor has consistently delivered both customers and agents outstanding quality and service. The Underwriting and Claims Departments are efficiently managed to ensure competitive insurance rates for valued customers. Their customer service is good but Windhaven is quicker because the agent can chat with the carrier online. None of our agents call Windhaven to make changes (endorsements) to policies.

Liability Coverage

This covers your legal liability for bodily injury to others (Bodily Injury Liability) or damage to their property (Property Damage Liability). Most states require you to have Property Damage Liability coverage. The principal exclusions (items not covered by your policy) for this coverage are: (1) autos owned by you or furnished or available for the regular use of you or your resident relatives, which have not been specifically covered under the policy, (2) vehicles with less than 4 wheels, and (3) claims for injuries to family members.

Personal Injury Protection

This covers you, your family members and certain others, for bodily injuries resulting from auto accidents, without regard to fault. Payments are for 80% of medical expenses, 60% for loss of income, replacement household services and (if the limit has not been exhausted by other benefits) a death benefit. Personal Injury Protection is also required in most states. The principal exclusions for this coverage are injuries sustained in autos you or your family members own which have not been specifically covered under the policy, and injuries to other vehicle owners required by law to have their own coverage.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage

This coverage pays for bodily injuries to you, resident relatives and certain others, resulting from the negligence of others. It pays when the at-fault party has: no liability insurance, or liability coverage with limits not adequate to pay for the damages incurred, or if injuries result from a hit-and-run vehicle.

Collision

This covers damage to your car resulting from upset or impact with another object.

Comprehensive

Provides coverage for damage to your car resulting from fire, theft and other direct losses not excluded. The principal exclusions are for damage to certain electronic and sound equipment; tapes and other media; radar detectors; undeclared camper bodies; pre-existing damage; and customized equipment.

Comprehensive and Collision coverages are NOT provided for any rental vehicle or for any vehicle while used as a temporary substitute for a vehicle you own which is out of normal use because of its breakdown, repair, servicing, loss or destruction.