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Centauri Insurance Summary
Although the company is based in Florida and born of another Florida insurer, Universal Insurance, Centauri Insurance did not initially write policies in that state due to difficulties with regulations and profitability.
While building a reputation as a major hurricane insurance carrier in Hawaii, Centauri started writing homeowner’s insurance in several states in the Gulf region, where hurricanes are also common.
They have expanded since their initial purchase of Hawaiian hurricane policies in 2012. Currently they write policies in Hawaii, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, and Florida.
Centauri policies are written through a network of independent agents, and quoting is not available online. They maintain offices in multiple states to serve the regions in which they currently write policies.
In Louisiana, Centauri is part of the Citizens Takeout program, which allows policyholders with the state’s last-resort property insurance company, Citizens, to move to other insurance companies in an effort to reduce the number of policies with Citizens.
The company’s website is working on a policy management system that will soon be available to policyholders, but currently only online bill pay is available. Other inquires must be made through an agent.
Centauri Insurance writes property and casualty policies for homeowners and tenants in a range of policy types and coverage levels.
Centauri writes standard homeowner’s insurance policies that provide comprehensive coverage for the house itself, personal property coverage, and liability insurance to protect against lawsuits stemming from injuries or negligence. The policies also offer additional endorsements that can be added to protect high-value items such as jewelry and art.
Dwelling Fire/Landlord Insurance
Centauri’s dwelling fire coverage is designed to protect tenant-occupied buildings and the particular risks of rental properties. The basic coverage includes protection for the house, limited personal property including appliances owned by the landlord, and liability. Landlord policies also cover income loss while a property can not be rented.
Centauri writes policies designed for the needs of condo owners. These policies cover structures not otherwise covered by the condo association as well as personal property and liability.
Centauri writes insurance policies for renters to cover their personal property as well as provide for liability insurance protection.
Flood, Earthquake, and Hurricane Insurance
Centauri’s origins are as a hurricane and earthquake insurance provider in Hawaii, and they continue to write those policies, currently only in that state. They also write flood insurance policies privately and offer National Flood Insurance Program information on their site as well.
Centauri Insurance does not currently offer online quotes, making it difficult to obtain quick premium comparisons. As a regional insurer offering only property and casualty coverage, they do not have the ability to offer multi-line discounts that can help to reduce premiums. However, expansion across several new states means growth and financial stability that can help reduce premiums across the board over time. Due to the company’s youth, there is little information regarding how their premiums stack up against other similar companies.
As Centauri is sold only through agents, commissions are likely to affect the premiums somewhat compared to direct-buy insurance companies with no agent commissions.
Centauri’s website allows policyholders to log in to pay bills online, but it’s unclear what type of payment plans are available and whether or not discounts are offered for full payment.
Centauri offers two 24-hour claims lines for policyholders to call in reports. There is one toll-free number for Hawaii and another number for the mainland states. Both contact numbers can be found on the company’s website.
Claims reporting is not currently available online either by form or by email. Policyholders can contact their agent for assistance with a claim or call directly to check on claims status.
While every claim is different and can require varying levels of time and effort, Centauri promises to resolve claims as quickly as possible. Their straightforward claims process begins with initial contact, continues through investigation including inspection and photographing of damages, and ends with resolution and paying of benefits within policy limits. Local claims adjusters are available to provide quick, personal assistance in each state.
Centauri Insurance is not Better Business Bureau accredited, but has a rating of B+ based on the BBB’s multi-factor rating system. Currently, there are only 13 complaints on file in the past 3 years, two of which have been closed in the past 12 months. No government actions against Centauri have been recorded. The BBB site states the reason for the poor rating is the 13 complaints filed against them.
As a very new entrant into the insurance market with only a few years of experience, Centauri has yet to build a firm reputation, and a search for complaints makes it clear that many insurance consumers know very little about the company. It is likely that a clearer picture of Centauri’s reputation will emerge over time. In spite of this, the lack of complaints in general is a good sign for the company so far, as many new companies face complaints early in business as systems are set up and tested.
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As a new insurer in the property & casualty market, Centauri still needs to firmly establish a reputation with consumers. Their specialty in helping homeowner’s who live in hurricane-prone areas may make them a good choice for those types of homes, but lower risk homes are likely to find better options for homeowner’s insurance elsewhere, particularly with companies offering multi-line discounts. This is especially true in states with a lower risk of hurricanes and other major natural disasters, and where the insurance industry is strong with lots of competition.
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