Is Florida decision to eliminate alarm system insurance discounts a trend?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Worried that other insurance companies or other states will follow suit, industry advocates are looking into a situation in Florida where one insurance company has eliminated discounts to homeowners and businesses that have security systems.

The Florida State Office of Insurance Regulation approved a request by State Farm of Florida to get rid of several standard discounts for its residential and commercial customers, including those for security systems. 

“We’re jumping on it to see what’s happening,” said Mike Miller, president of the NBFAA. The NBFAA does not have a charter state organization in Florida, but it does have 90 member companies in the state, Miller said.

The NBFAA is looking into whether other Florida insurance companies have made similar requests and if insurance companies in other states are considering eliminating discounts.

The discounts can be important in the sales process he said. “They may not cover the entire cost of the security system,” but it’s an incentive for customers to protect their homes and businesses, he said.

Bob Neely, president of the Alarm Association of Florida, said that the discounts range from five to 20 percent, depending on the type of security system and insurance coverage. The Florida Alarm Association board is “evaluating options to deal with this,” he said, including the possibility of filing an appeal with the State Office of Insurance Regulation.