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Mount Beacon Insurance Summary
Having started into the property and casualty market in 2014 by joining the ongoing depopulation of Florida’s Citizens Insurance, Mount Beacon aimed to take on more than 40,000 policies in the takeout program. In early 2015, the company began writing policies in the open market through independent agents across the state. They do not sell policies directly, nor do they offer any online quoting services.
Mount Beacon is based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is backed financially by Fortress Investment Group and Southwind Capital, LLC. They are currently only licensed to write policies in the state of Florida and offer a limited number of property insurance products for homeowners, condo owners, and manufactured homes.
Mount Beacon writes a few different types of insurance for homeowners, offering structure and personal property coverage.
The standard homeowner’s insurance policy from Mount Beacon is designed for a wide variety of homes of varying size and offers replacement cost coverage for the house itself, coverage for other structures on the property, personal property coverage, and personal liability to protect against claims arising from injuries on your property or negligence suits.
This type of homeowner’s policy is designed specifically for the needs of a condo, which differ from a detached single-family residence. Condo insurance covers the structure from the walls in for buildings in which a condo association provides an overall policy to cover the rest of the building. It also covers personal property and personal liability for the homeowner.
Manufactured Home Insurance
Mount Beacon writes policies that are designed to cover manufactured homes, and include all the features available in a homeowner’s policy such as personal property coverage and liability while allowing for the differing needs of manufactured homes.
Mount Beacon does not offer online quoting and their limited time in business makes it difficult to obtain information regarding their premiums in comparison to other companies.
Although Mount Beacon is involved in the Citizens takeout program, those insured with Citizens are under no obligation to accept the new policy, and it appears that some have found the new rate with Mount Beacon to be higher than renewal rates at Citizens, even with the possibility of a post-hurricane surcharge on the horizon. Because premiums can vary so greatly for homeowner’s insurance, however, this particular experience may not be typical.
Mount Beacon is a small, new company without the benefit of multiple lines of business that can provide discounts such as auto-home, which can make it difficult to compete against larger insurance companies.
Mount Beacon has a 24/7 claims call center where policyholders are encouraged to submit claims immediately following the loss in order to expedite repairs. All claims should be submitted through the same phone number, whether for standard homeowner’s, condo, or manufactured home insurance.
Call center representatives take basic information about the claim, which is then assigned to an adjuster. The adjuster is expected to contact the policyholder within 24 hours of the claim being filed in order to gather more information and determine if an inspection is needed.
Mount Beacon will then send out a field adjuster to inspect the damage and submit a report back to the adjuster in the office, who will review the policy’s coverage and determine what benefits are available and what amount of the claim will be paid.
The claims call center is available at any time to check on the status of the claims process, which can take varying amounts of time depending on the type of loss. Mount Beacon gives priority to claims involving major or catastrophic losses to ensure those policyholders are cared for as quickly as possible.
As a very new company, there is very little information available regarding Mount Beacon’s reputation. It will likely take more time for the company to develop a presence in the Florida insurance market and a reputation among policyholders.
Although the company is listed by the Better Business Bureau, they are neither accredited nor currently rated, probably due to a lack of available information. There are no complaints registered against the company through the BBB at this time, and no government actions against them on record.
As of the most recent records with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, which are for the third quarter of 2014, there were no complaints on record against Mount Beacon. While this is good news, it most likely reflects more on the newness of the company on the market than on the actual consumer experience, and more time is needed for a picture of Mount Beacon’s customer service to emerge.
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Mount Beacon is one of the newest insurance companies writing homeowner’s insurance in Florida, and they are not alone in being new to that market. Because so little is currently known about the company, it is difficult to form with any certainty an opinion on their products and service.
They are likely to be an option for consideration by anyone in the Citizens takeout program, and may eventually be competitive in the open market. Mount Beacon is worth considering for anyone who has paid high rates or had trouble getting coverage in the past. More time will be needed to determine which segment of the Florida insurance market is best served by small, new companies like Mount Beacon.
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