Company starts offering hurricane insurance in islands
ICAT Specialty Insurance Co. of Boulder, Colo., has begun offering hurricane insurance for Hawaii homeowners.
The move, which had been previously announced by Hawaii insurance regulators, provides another option for consumers in an insurance market that has suffered recent volatility.
Last week, a state court allowed Hawaii insurance regulators to take over Hawaiian Insurance & Guaranty Co. Ltd., which is one of Hawaii's largest homeowners insurance companies. That move came amid takeovers of HIG affiliates in Texas and other states and reports that HIG's parent, Vesta Fire Insurance Corp., had defaulted on long-term debt obligations.
Also in April, Hawaii's largest residential hurricane insurer, Zephyr Insurance Co. Inc., announced it would not issue new policies for homes built using the single-wall construction that is commonplace in the state. The company also said that homes built before 1981 were not eligible unless they have been retrofitted with hurricane clips to meet 1993 and 1994 building codes.
ICAT will offer insurance for homes with single-wall construction, said Gregory Butler, a spokesman for the company. However, the company will not provide insurance for homes built before 1959, Butler said. ICAT will provide discounts for qualified homes that have hurricane shutters and clips, the company said.
ICAT is the third new insurer to come into the market recently. AAA Hawaii, which is better known for its automobile and travel services, and Korea-based Dongbu Insurance Co. Ltd. also entered Hawaii this year.