Sarasota, Florida, based Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Company was ordered liquidated July 28 by the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County, Florida, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services, and policies will be canceled effective 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 27.
Gulfstream and the Department of Financial Services agreed to Gulfstream’s liquidation in a consent order which was filed with the Second Judicial Court of Leon County. Per the consent order, The Florida Department of Financial Services was appointed receiver of Gulfstream.
On June 10, Gulfstream Property and Casualty entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger of Gulfstream Select Insurance Company with and into Gulfstream Property and Casualty in which Gulfstream Select, a Louisiana corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Gulfstream P&C, was merged into Gulfstream P&C, effective July 15, according to the consent order.
The deadline for filing claims in the Gulfstream receivership proceeding is July 28, 2022, according to a notice from the Florida Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation that went to Gulfstream’s agents and brokers dated July 28, 2021.
According to the notice, agents for Gulfstream are required to provide written notice of the receivership, by registered or certified mail or by email with delivery receipt required, to the last known address of policyholders whose policies have not been replaced or reinsured with a solvent authorized insurer.
The notice advises agents to continue to contact Gulfstream at 866-485-3004 to check the status of existing claims or to file a new claim. The Florida department’s website will be updated as soon as claim data and claim files have been gathered and forwarded to guaranty associations, including the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association.
The notice says that Gulfstream wrote homeowners’ multi-peril, fire, allied, inland marine and other liability lines of coverage in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. As of the date of the liquidation order, the company had approximately 45,000 in-force policies.
In Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina, Centauri Specialty Insurance Company and Centauri National Insurance Company have an existing agreement with Gulfstream to make an offer of replacement coverage, according to the notice.
In February, Applied Underwriters announced that its subsidiary, Centauri, had acquired the renewal rights to about 16,700 policies across Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina from Gulfstream Select Insurance Company. The renewals included a mix of personal and commercial lines business.
On July 23, Gulfstream waived any and all appeals in the state appellate courts of any subsequent delinquency proceeding and any liquidation order entered by the court, the consent order states, which paved the way for the July 28 liquidation order.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation placed Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Co. in administrative supervision in May after the company failed to meet minimum surplus standards.
Gulfstream P&C was incorporated in Florida Oct. 8, 2004, and commenced business on Jan. 18, 2005, according to an examination report of Gulfstream P&C as of Dec. 31, 2006. The company was admitted to do business in Louisiana Dec. 18, 2009, according to Louisiana Department of Insurance records. In 2009, Gulfstream P&C was licensed to write homeowners, marine and transportation. In 2010, fire and allied lines were added, and in 2016 liability was added.
Initially, control of Gulfstream P&C was maintained by New Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation, which owned 100 percent of the stock issued by Gulfstream. In turn, New Holdings was 64.6 percent owned by Charles H. Powers, 24.6 percent owned by Seibels, Bruce and Co., and 10.8 percent owned by Philip L. DeRosa, according to the examination report as of Dec. 31, 2006. At the time, DeRosa was the president, CEO and secretary of Gulfstream MGA, New Holdings and Gulfstream P&C.
By the as-of-Dec. 31, 2017, examination report New Holdings was owned 72.45 percent by Jane P. Huggins (Rex Warren Huggins, chairman and CEO of The Seibels Bruce Group Inc. was a director and on the Audit Committee of Gulfstream) and 27.55 percent by Seibels Bruce.
Rex Warren Huggins was appointed to Gulfstream’s board, effective Sept. 2, 2007, due to the death of Charles H. Powers who served as director from Jan. 6, 2005, until his death on Sept. 2, 2007, according to the 2007 examination report. Huggins is the son-in-law of Powers whose estate was the owner of 64.6 percent of New Holdings.
A footnote to the 2017 examination report indicates that Seibels, Bruce and Co. is 100 percent owned by The Seibels Bruce Group Inc., of which Jane P. Huggins owns 65.9 percent.
In the examination as of Dec. 31, 2012, it was Huggins Actuarial Services Inc. that reviewed loss and loss adjustment expense work papers and concurred with an outside actuarial firm’s opinion that amounts carried on Gulfstream’s balance sheet “made a reasonable provision for all unpaid loss and loss expense obligations of the company.” The name of the outside actuarial firm is not stated in the examination report.
At the end of 2012 Gulfstream reported policyholders’ surplus of $26.2 million, according to the examination report of that year, which said the company experienced net losses in 2008 and 2010, but showed a favorable trend to profitability in 2011 and 2012. The primary cause of the 2010 losses, the exam report pointed out, was $5.4 million in sinkhole losses for the 2010 accident year; whereas, the 2008 net loss was primarily due to Gulfstream’s loss and loss adjustment expense ratio that could be attributed to lower average premiums per risk insured.
After ending 2006 with $12.7 million in policyholders’ surplus, Gulfstream’s policyholders’ surplus decreased almost 25 percent from $20.1 million in 2009 to $15.6 million in 2010, but was up to $21.2 million in 2011 and was $31.5 million at the end of 2017. A minimum of $10 million was required by Florida statute per the 2017 exam report.
Subsequent to 2017 Gulfstream’s policyholders’ surplus headed down. Gulfstream reported policyholders’ surplus of $20,841,846 as of Dec. 31, 2020, which the May 6 consent order indicates is a decrease of $5,237,231, from the $25,279,077 reported as of Dec. 31, 2019. The surplus included a net loss of $22,236,672 and capital contributions of $17,100,000. The company’s net underwriting loss topped $34 million.
Without the capital contributions, Gulfstream P&C would have a policyholders’ surplus less than the required minimum of $10 million, and would have been considered impaired, according to the May 6 consent order.
Gulfstream sheds policies
The May 6 consent order came as a result of Gulfstream seeking approval from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to cancel approximately 20,311 personal residential policies with 45 days’ notice. The approval required a finding by the OIR that the early cancellation would protect the interests of the public or policyholders.
Gulfstream was required to file monthly financial statements with the Florida OIR and an updated business plan by July 1.
The exam report as of Dec. 31, 2012, indicated gross written premium had increased $24.4 million, or 29 percent, due to an increase in policy count, rate increases in Florida and continued expansion into Louisiana. At the end of 2012, Florida policies in force were 50,552, compared to 41,247 at Dec. 31, 2011. Louisiana policies in force were 7,848 compared to 5,882 at the end of 2011.
Gulfstream P&C declared and paid dividends of $3.4 million to its stockholders in 2015, according to the 2017 exam report. No other dividends were paid during the examination period; that is from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2017.
Gulfstream P&C declared and paid dividends to its stockholders in 2009 and 2008 in the amounts of $2.5 million and $2.6 million, respectively, according to the examination report covering Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2012. No other dividends were paid during the exam period.
Managing agency contract
Gulfstream P&C entered into a managing agency contract with Gulfstream Property and Casualty MGA, a subsidiary of New Holdings Inc., to provide comprehensive management and administration of Gulfstream P&C’s insurance business, according to the examination report as of Dec. 31, 2017. The MGA contract was amended in January 2016 and May 2017. Pursuant to the contract, Gulfstream MGA either directly provided, or supervised subcontractors who provided, underwriting, claims administration, premium collection, accounting, marketing, agent relations, reinsurance negotiation, exposure management, or acquisition of office space, furniture and supplies.
In return for its services, Gulfstream MGA received up to 27 percent of direct premiums written on risks located in Florida, as well as 30 percent of direct premiums written and collected on risks in all states other than Florida.
Initially, Gulfstream MGA subcontracted policy administration and processing to Seibels Bruce, an affiliate of New Holdings through common ownership, according to the 2007 exam report. The agreement was effective Nov. 1, 2004.
With respect to any business written in Texas, MGA services were provided by Atlas General Agency LLC. As compensation for the supervision of Atlas GA, Gulfstream MGA received a per-policy fee of $25 in Florida, and in all other states Gulfstream MGA received a per policy fee that did not exceed the amount authorized under the laws and regulations of those states.
The Gulfstream P&C had an agreement with an independent CPA, Dixon, Hughes, Goodman LLP, which audited the statutory basis financial statements from 2013 to 2017.
At its inception, Gulfstream assumed risk on a per policy basis from Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Company, but did not assume premiums in 2006, the 2007 examination report states.
In 2010, when two of the Hanover Insurance Companies withdrew from Louisiana, Gulfstream P&C assumed about half of the 14,000 policies that had been insured by the two Hanover companies.
At the time, three Hanover Group companies were doing business in Louisiana. They were Hanover Co., the Hanover American Insurance Co. and the Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co. According to a Feb. 20, 2010, Times-Picayune news article, Hanover wanted to surrender the licenses for Hanover and Massachusetts Bay, but wanted to continue writing business in Hanover American; however, under Louisiana law Hanover would have to withdraw from the state entirely. Hanover officials cut a deal with Gulfstream P&C in which Gulfstream would assume the Massachusetts Bay and Hanover books of business.
The way it worked was all of the Hanover companies withdrew from Louisiana, and Hanover American and Gulfstream P&C applied for and got certificates of authority simultaneous with the withdrawal. Thereby Massachusetts Bay and Hanover quit writing in Louisiana while Hanover American and Gulfstream continued with the three Hanover companies’ policies.
Gulfstream Select capitalized
Gulfstream P&C formed Gulfstream Select, which was incorporated in Louisiana on Dec. 12, 2017, and capitalized on Jan. 4, 2018, with a $3.5 million capital contribution from Gulfstream P&C. Gulfstream P&C contributed an additional $2.5 million in capital on May 17, 2018, according to the examination report. Gulfstream P&C received $500,000 from its parent (New Holdings) on Aug. 14, 2018, and $1.5 million on Sept. 24, 2018.