Avatar Insurance Review & Complaints: Home Insurance

Avatar insurance is a fairly new company in the Florida home insurance market. Avatar covers a variety of home types. In addition to individual coverage, Avatar also provides commercial building products.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Apr 26, 2021

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One of the many recent entrants into the Florida home insurance market, Avatar covers a variety of home types. In addition to individual coverage, Avatar also provides commercial building products.

What is Avatar Insurance?

Entering the struggling homeowner’s insurance market in 2008, Avatar was one of several new property & casualty insurers to spring up in Florida during the late 2000s. The company was one of many who participated in the large takeout process by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state-run property insurer for Floridians who had difficulty finding policies in the private market. This takeout involved thousands of Citizens policyholders receiving an offer to accept a new policy from the company.

In addition to the takeout policies, the insurer has been writing new business since its inception. Steady growth over nearly a decade has led the company to a position in the market with assets approximating $50 million. In March of 2017, Avatar reached a deal to acquire Elements Property Insurance Holdings, expanding their market to a larger area.

Headquartered in Tampa, Avatar sells homeowners and commercial property insurance through a network of independent agents across the state.

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What insurance products are offered?

The company focuses on the needs of Florida homeowners but also writes policies for some types of commercial buildings.

Personal Home Insurance

Avatar writes three types of homeowners insurance policies, covering standard homeowner’s condominium owners, and manufactured homes. The website offers little in the way of details on the policies but lists a brief explanation of what each portion of the standard form homeowner’s policy covers. Coverage includes replacement cost for the home itself, coverage for other structures on the premises, and personal property. The policy also includes personal liability coverage. Several premium credits (discounts) are listed, including having an alarm on the premises and a discount for homeowners over the age of 55.

Condominium policies cover the portion of the structure for which the homeowner is responsible, as well as personal property and liability. These policies are designed to provide for areas not covered by the condo association’s policy, which generally covers the outer structure and any common areas.

Two policies forms are offered for mobile or manufactured homes:

  • The Mobile Home Owners Policy is similar to a standard homeowner’s policy. It covers the replacement cost for the structure. Personal property is covered with the option to upgrade to replacement cost, and personal liability is also included.
  • The Mobile Home Dwelling is a more limited named perils policy. It restricts coverage to the specific perils named in the policy. The structure is covered at replacement cost, and this same personal property option is available. This type of policy is frequently offered on properties that do not meet the requirements for the Mobile Home Owners program.

Commercial Insurance

Avatar writes both Commercial Residential and Non-Residential policies, but not much detail is offered.

Commercial Residential is available for condominium associations as well as for apartment buildings. These policies are designed to protect the structure as well as provide for liability for the building’s owner.

Commercial Non-Residential policies are for what the website describes as “light occupancy” buildings. The company specializes in hotels and medical offices according to the brief description.

Are the company’s rates affordable?

Online quoting is available on the website but requires a physical address for the building to proceed. Due to the specific nature of homeowner’s insurance, we are unable to conduct a rate comparison for this company or estimate an average premium.

Although the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation does offer a helpful rate comparison tool, we were unable to locate Avatar on the list of companies.

The option to obtain a quick quote online is a helpful tool for insurance shoppers but provides only a basic number. It’s important to note that when obtaining quotes for this type of policy, any number of details can affect the final premium. It’s a good idea to pursue a more detailed quote before making an insurance purchase decision.

Are claims processed quickly?

The insurer promises to respond to claims within 24 hours and resolve them quickly to provide a good claims experience. Although they do offer online quoting, they do not have an online claims form. Claims can be filed by phone 24 hours a day. There is no detail on the claims process.

Although there is a page for information on catastrophes, common in Florida’s hurricane-prone areas, it provides only emergency preparedness information and nothing regarding the claim process on how the company handles catastrophe claims for damages.

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Does the company have positive ratings and consumer reviews?

Avatar Insurance currently carries an F rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The site states the reason for the poor rating is due to the company’s failure to respond to five complaints, and four complaints that were left unresolved with no responses. There are currently 11 negative reviews on the BBB website and 27 complaints that have been filed in the last three years – 23 of which were closed in the last 12 months. The nature of complaint type in 24 cases listed concerns and problems with their product/service.

The Florida Department of Financial Services offers a complaints database for insurance companies. The most recent data for the company is for the fourth quarter of 2016 when the company had a total of three complaints filed. That’s one complaint for every 6,559 policies in force.

Yelp has an overall 1-star rating for the company based on four negative customer reviews. The content of these customer reviews is poor customer service and long wait times for an adjuster or callback from the company.

What’s the Bottom Line

Avatar Insurance appears to have a good reputation and has grown steadily in the 9 years since it was founded, though the company’s BBB rating and customer service complaints do raise a bit of concern in terms of their responsiveness to customer complaints. They are well worth putting on the list for Florida homeowners in search of insurance, and their online quoting system makes it easy to get a general idea of how they will stack up to other insurers. While small companies don’t often compete premium-wise with the big ones, that’s not always the case in Florida’s changing market, so a company like this is worth a closer look.

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