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About Security First
Security First was founded in 2005, one year after Hurricane Andrew caused a great deal of damage in Florida, causing many insurance companies to pull out of the market. Then Florida Senator, Locke Burt, was the grandson of a longtime insurance agent and joined up with Harry Bleiwise to create Security First Insurance Company.
The company has since grown to be a large insurer of homes across the state, offering standard homeowners as well as condo, renters, and rental property coverage. The company’s headquarters is located in Ormond Beach, Florida, and agents sell their products locally throughout the market.
Security First Products
Security First writes only home insurance, covering several types of housing. Flood insurance is also available through Wright Insurance.
Security First’s homeowners insurance is a standard package policy offering coverage for the house and other structures on the property, personal property, and liability. The house itself is covered at replacement cost, with Security First covering homes valued from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Replacement cost coverage is also included for personal property, not the case with all homeowner’s policies.
In addition to the basics, Security First offers a range of optional coverage that can be added. These include animal liability, identity theft, sewer and water backup, increased replacement cost, and special limits on valuables.
Discounts available include most of the common ones – age of a home, security system, and discounts for policyholders 55+ and for secured communities.
Security First writes condo insurance policies designed to protect everything not covered by the association’s policy. This includes the portions of the structure for which the owner is responsible. Also covered are personal property – at replacement cost, as with the homeowner’s policy – and personal liability.
The same optional coverage can be added to a condo policy that is offered on the homeowner’s policy. Security First also offers the same range of discounts to keep rates lower.
Security First offers personal property coverage for renters up to $100,000 and like all their policies this is a replacement cost coverage. Also included with the policy are liability and loss of use coverage, to protect renters from a variety of unexpected occurrences. A variety of optional coverage similar to the home policies can also be added.
Many of the discounts, such as security features, that are offered on home policies can also be applied to a renter’s policy.
Security First has two types of rental property policy. One is for a house, and the other for a condo. Both are designed to protect the owner’s property, as well as providing coverage for things like loss of rent if a covered loss renders the home uninhabitable.
The variety of optional coverage changes slightly with the rental property policy to match the specific needs of landlords.
Security First Rates
Using the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s sample rate comparison tool, Choices, we were able to obtain some numbers for Security First. The sample quotes across multiple counties were run for a new construction home with a value of $300,000. Rates ranged from numbers in the $800-900 range all the way up to highs of nearly $4500 depending on the county. This is a large rate range, likely due to the high-risk nature of some of Florida’s hurricane-prone coastal areas.
Security First does offer online quoting to obtain more accurate numbers for the area and the home in question. To get a solid rate quote, as much information as possible should be provided about the home, therefore making it difficult to run sample rate or to compare them to other companies.
Security First offers multiple ways to file a claim. Claims can be called into a 24-hour toll-free line, filed online, or filed using the company’s mobile app. There is also a separate claims line for identity theft and flood claims.
The ease of access to claims reporting rivals and in some cases exceeds that of some national insurance companies, and it is encouraging to see the use of modern technology to expedite the process.
The website states that customers can anticipate a response from the assigned adjuster within 24 hours of filing the claim. The adjuster will then assess the damage and take any immediate action required, such as finding temporary housing during repairs.
Security First has a Mobile Recovery Unit that is used in the event of a catastrophe such as a hurricane. This 57’ truck is brought to the scene of the catastrophe to provide on-site assistance and claims filing for policyholders who are affected.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Security First Insurance Company currently holds a B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). There have been 21 complaints filed in the past three years, and six of those were closed in the past 12 months. The BBB states that the lowered rating is due to the volume of complaints, although this does not appear to be an unusually high complaint volume for a company of this size.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation also offers a complaints database. The most recent information is for the fourth quarter of 2016. In that time period, Security First received 57 complaints, which is a ratio of one complaint to every 5.866 policyholders. In comparison, this ratio is lower than other similarly sized companies, but 57 in one quarter does seem a little high.
Google shows 55 reviews of this company, resulting in an overall rating of 2.3 stars. A lot of the reviews are negative, however, the company appears to make an effort to respond to all of them. This attention to customer concerns and willingness to respond when there is a problem is a relatively unusual and positive thing to see from an insurance company.
The Bottom Line
Security First is a solid company offering a good basic range of home insurance products. While their complaint volume is a little higher than we like to see, they do appear to be on top of responding to and resolving these complaints. They are worth adding to the list when comparison-shopping for homeowners insurance in Florida.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.