Action 9

Some homeowners are left waiting for premium refunds after large insurance carrier goes belly up

After one of the larger home insurance carriers in Florida went belly up two months ago, some homeowners have been left waiting for thousands in premium refunds.

“People cannot afford to throw $2,393 to the wind. Not these days.” Linda Bishop-Marshall said that’s how much St. Johns Insurance Company took out of her account, just days after she cancelled her homeowner’s policy in January. She claims she was told a refund was on the way, but nearly four months later, getting answers has been a struggle.

“I called and called and called, and you could not reach anybody,” Bishop-Marshall said.

Then a month later, St. Johns, located in Orlando, was ordered into liquidation by Florida courts for lacking funds to cover its policies, leaving many consumers scrambling.

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“I would like to have my money returned to me and anybody else who deserves it,” Bishop-Marshall said.

Reda Rozanski and her husband say they’ve been waiting two months for their $700 premium balance after canceling their St. Johns insurance policy.

“I ask when I might receive it, and they say they don’t know when I will get it,” Rozanski said.

“Definitely. Policyholders need to be able to recoup all funds that are due to them as quickly as possible,” Tasha Carter said.

Carter is Florida’s insurance consumer advocate with the Department of Financial Services. She says St. Johns’ policies were transferred to Slide Insurance Company on March 1. So, any cancelations after that date would be handled by Slide, but payments for cancelations that happened before the transfer are handled by a state-created association.

“The unearned premium that would be Due to those policyholders will be paid by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association.

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Carter told Action 9, checks are being processed and sent out as quickly as possible.

After Todd Ulrich contacted Slide about Rozanski’s refund, she got a check for $730.

Bishop-Marshall said she got a call from the state after Action 9 had asked about her refund, and she was told she would be getting her $2,300 right away.

“If they took money, and they weren’t supposed to take it, return it to the customers so that they can purchase other insurance,” Bishop-Marshal said.

Disputing a missing refund by email is your first step. If there’s no response, send another letter with a deadline demand by certified mail.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich,

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.