News and Press
PRESS RELEASE
August 3, 2022

Applied Underwriters Strengthens Centauri as its ‘A’ Rating is Affirmed and Transition to Omaha Operations Center is Completed

Disciplined underwriting and reinsurance program distinguish Centauri, as many coastal carriers face significant financial stress and downgrades


Omaha, Nebraska -- Wednesday, August 3, 2022 -- As insurers and consumers in Florida and all along the coasts face insurance availability and pricing problems as hurricane season looms, at least one insurer has strengthened its operations and management to weather the marketplace’s financial stability storm.

Mr. Steve Menzies, Chairman of Applied Underwriters, speaking on behalf of its sister companies, Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co., leading property insurers in Hawaii with additional writings along many of the coastal states, including Florida and Louisiana, today announced that the Centauri companies have had their ‘A’ (Exceptional) rating affirmed by Demotech, the ratings organization that is central to homeowners insurers in hurricane exposed areas, their agents and consumers: “We are committed to sustaining our profitable position in the coastal states, including the Florida market, where we have managed to do better than the weather, including Hurricane Ida and other serious loss events.”

Mr. Menzies further announced that Centauri had completed the transition of its operations to Omaha, Nebraska, while maintaining a local office in Sarasota: “Our restructuring and relocating of Centauri operations in Omaha adds another advantage to our agents and their customers: should a catastrophic event take place in any coastal state where we have a presence, our desk adjusters and claims staff are safely out of the fray and able to communicate with on the ground service resources with little stress on the central operations group.” Mr. Menzies noted that Applied’s national operations platforms based in Omaha are among the most sophisticated in the world: “Applied's approach in supporting all of our insurance programs across the globe, including Centauri, is bolstered by our operational expertise and technical capabilities.”

Mr. Rick Espino, CEO of Centauri, indicated that “Agents are advised to submit renewals and policy applications as early as possible. We are meeting our quarterly new premium targets very quickly. As the marketplace suffers disruption and lack of availability, we find ourselves receiving a very large increase in submissions.” He continued, “While our business in Florida is mostly in the commercial BOP sector, having moved gradually away from the troubled homeowners market there, we nonetheless continue to grow our core homeowners business on the coasts and remain ready to serve our agents and their clients’ needs.”

Commenting on the condition of the market in Florida and some other coastal states, Mr. Menzies stated that the market is beset by three basic problems: first, there is now limited commercial reinsurance available to insurers for hurricane risk; second, an aggressive, legislatively enabled trial bar has “played” the laws and the legal system using incredibly unfair and unreasonable mechanisms for their exploitation, such as public adjusters and the assignment of benefits; and third, given all of this, inadequate retail rates have persisted for many years, mispricing the actual risks underwritten.

Mr. Menzies continued, “Many insurers, especially the smaller, monoline property carriers, face off in lopsided, almost rigged battles against a trial bar which has become monstrously sophisticated in its use of data technology and unduly influential in creating manipulated legislation. This has placed Demotech, the primary rating agency for property insurers in the coastal regions, in a difficult position of having to report an inconvenient financial truth and has dragged it unwittingly into being a protagonist for an unlikely reform process in the Florida legislature and in other states.”

Mr. Menzies concluded: “Demotech as scorekeeper is not the problem in Florida, Louisiana, or elsewhere; it is the trial bar’s hegemony over state legislatures and the claims process in general, all leading to a now broken system with untenable economics.”


For further information contact:
Ryan Gerding, Public Relations, at +1 (913) 602-8531 or at press@auw.com.

About Applied Underwriters
Applied Underwriters® is a global risk services firm that helps businesses and people manage uncertainty through its business services, insurance and reinsurance solutions. As a company, Applied Underwriters has been distinguished by its innovative approaches to client care and by its strong financial strength. Applied Underwriters operates widely throughout the US, UK, EU and Middle East. Its operational headquarters is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

About Centauri Insurance (www.centauriinsurance.com)
Centauri Specialty Insurance Company and Centauri National Insurance Company are rated ‘A’ (Exceptional) by Demotech. Formed in 2006 and based in Sarasota, FL, Centauri Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company licensed to serve policyholders in 10 states including Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Centauri is well known for providing catastrophe coverage and for its ability to provide financial protection to its policyholders through innovative solutions and personalized service.

About Demotech, Inc. (www.demotech.com)
Demotech, Inc. is a financial analysis firm specializing in evaluating the financial stability of regional and specialty insurers. Since 1985, Demotech has served the insurance industry by assigning accurate, reliable and proven Financial Stability Ratings® (FSRs) for Property & Casualty insurers and Title underwriters. FSRs are a leading indicator of financial stability, providing an objective baseline of the future solvency of an insurer. Demotech’s philosophy is to review and evaluate insurers based on their area of focus and execution of their business model rather than solely on financial size. Demotech was the first to review and rate independent regional and specialty insurers. Demotech’s consistently increasing list of accreditations and acceptances has resulted in rating and reviewing more than 400 insurers operating in the US.

©2022 Applied Underwriters, Inc. Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best. Insurance plans protected U.S. Patent No. 7,908,157