Judge Approves New Policy Options for Vanguard Policyholders
CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
TALLAHASSEE—Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry P. Lewis approved an order today allowing Royal Palm Insurance Company (Royal Palm) and Security First Insurance Company (Security First) to offer new coverage to the 57,000 homeowner policyholders currently with Maitland-based Vanguard Fire & Casualty Company. Today’s order follows one Judge Lewis signed last week naming the Department of Financial Services the receiver for Vanguard for purposes of liquidation, effective yesterday, and ordering current policies cancelled at 12:01 a.m. on April 25, 2007.
“We want to ensure these Floridians have an offer in hand as they begin to shop for new coverage,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who as CFO oversees the department. “Our top priority is to take care of policyholders and ensure their claims are paid.”
Each policyholder will receive an offer of new coverage from either Royal Palm or Security First, effective April 25, 2007, or upon expiration of the policyholder’s Vanguard coverage, whichever occurs first. Policyholders also will be free to choose other companies for coverage.
The Department of Financial Services was named receiver in January for purposes of rehabilitation and has paid more than $6 million in claims using company assets, but determined the company’s cash and reserves are not enough to keep up with claims.
Vanguard claimants who need to check on the status of an existing claim, or report a new claim should call the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association at 1-866-928-4310. Questions relating to current Vanguard policy, coverage and claim issues should be directed to Vanguard Fire & Casualty Company at 1-866-830-6423. Policyholders with questions regarding the offers of new coverage should contact their agent or call Royal Palm and Security First at 1-866-351-3060.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.