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Security First Insurance Company Review

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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...

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UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020

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Founded by a former U.S. Senator, Security First Insurance provides homeowner’s insurance in the difficult Florida market. The company offers a variety of home products across the state, including flood insurance.

About Security First

Former U.S. Senator Locke Burt founded Security First Insurance in 2005 to create an insurance option for residents that was prepared to handle the annual risk of severe hurricane damage. Burt drew on his family’s history in the insurance business, going back to his grandfather’s insurance agency founded in Des Moines, Iowa in 1918.

The company became one of several growing in the Florida market as other major insurance companies were pulling back in response to the high cost of hurricane devastation. The late 2000s saw more small local insurers stepping into that void, and Security First was among the earlier entrants.

Security First writes only home insurance, including variants like renter’s and condo insurance, as well as flood insurance. Products are sold through independent agents, and the company’s headquarters is located in Ormond Beach, Florida.

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Security First Home Insurance Products

Homeowners is the company’s main product, but they have several policies for different types of homes available.

Homeowners

This policy is available with a dwelling coverage range from $100,000 up to $1,000,000, with the minimum raised to $125,000 in coastal counties.

It is a standard package policy with base coverage for structures, personal property, personal liability, and loss of use. Security First includes replacement cost coverage on the contents of the home as a standard part of the base policy.

There is a list of common endorsements available, including increased replacement cost for the dwelling, animal liability, scheduled personal property, water backup and sump overflow, and equipment breakdown.

There are several discounts offered for homeowners as well, most of which are common. These include security features, the age of the home, wind resistant features and roof shape, and a senior’s discount.

Condo

Condo insurance coverage provides from $25,000 up to $250,000 in coverage for parts of the structure that are the owner’s responsibility, as well as personal property coverage, liability, and loss of use. Like the homeowner’s policy, replacement cost coverage for personal property is standard.

Most of the same endorsements and discounts that are offered on the homeowner’s policy are also available to condo owners.

Renter’s

Renter’s insurance offers coverage mainly for personal property, with limits between $15,000 and $100,000 and replacement cost coverage standard on all policies. The policy also includes liability and loss of use coverage.

The list of options is a little different due to the nature of the policy and includes an endorsement to cover a roommate as an additional insured on the same policy.

Dwelling Fire

The dwelling fire policy is available for both owner-occupied and rental dwellings. This type of policy may be written for homes that do not qualify for the homeowner’s package due to condition or age. It is available for both single-family homes as well as condos.

The landlord version of the policy includes coverage that is specific to the needs of a landlord, such as coverage for loss of rent during repairs for a covered loss that make the home uninhabitable,

Flood & Water Backup

Security First offers a flood and water backup policy that differs from the standard flood policy offered through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Rather than a separate policy, this coverage is added on to the home insurance policy and in the event of a claim, all damage would be handled by the same adjuster. It also offers higher limits than a flood insurance policy and coverage that is not available through the flood insurance program coverage, such as replacement cost on personal property.

The policy also covers water backup, which is not covered under a standard flood insurance policy.

Rates

Security First has an online quoting system, but the system looks up the details on a specific home to calculate quotes, so we are unable to obtain rates using sample information. The system does not ask for contact information, which is surprising, and promises the company will not contact you unless you request it. This should be a relief to those not wanting to deal with ongoing solicitation attempts after getting a quote.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation does offer rate samples for this company. We looked at rates for a $300,000 new construction home and returned a list of sample rates across 67 counties. These range from $1,503 in Madison County up to $6,156 in Dade County. That wide range represents the varied risk presented by different parts of Florida and their exposure to severe weather. Coastal counties are usually more expensive. Dade County, located on the southern tip of the state, is very exposed to hurricanes and as such has some of the highest home insurance rates.

Claims

The Security First website has a comprehensive claims center section on the website that provides most of the information a policyholder could need in the event of a claim.

Claims can be filed online, over the phone via a 24/7 toll-free number, or through the company’s mobile app.

There are separate phone numbers for identity theft claims and for flood claims, and the site also includes specific instructions to follow if the claim involves water damage.

While the company does not appear to have a true preferred contractor network with guaranteed work, they do provide a list of contractors they consider to be reputable and trustworthy.

The claims process follows that of most home insurance companies; an adjuster will be assigned, the damage evaluated, and benefits applied in accordance with the policy limits and exclusions. The website has a step-by-step overview of the process available.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Security First has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where they have been accredited since 2012. There are 25 complaints on file in the past three years. 46 reviews have been left on the BBB page, most of which are negative in nature. The complaints are mainly in regards to problems with claims, and the company does appear to respond to most of the comments and attempt to resolve the problem. The reviews here are long and detailed and describe similar problems, although some of them appear to be due to poor service from contractors.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s complaints database has a complaint ratio of 1:2396 for Security First, reflecting the most recent data for the third quarter of 2018. This places the company in the middle of the two other comparison companies listed the database, both of which have a similar market share to Security First.

We do not see any red flags for this company, but we would like to see a complaint ratio a little on the lower side than they are currently showing. The effort to respond to the reviews does put the company in a more positive light.

The Bottom Line

Security First has a pretty solid home insurance program with plenty of options, and may be a good choice for anyone looking for a local company. Their reputation is about average and complaints are similar to other such companies, so the choice for Florida homeowners may come down to rates and the quality of the local agent.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Security First Insurance Company
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My 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.

12 Comments

  1. I recently found out that Security First dropped me last November because Wells Fargo never paid an additional fee of $20.

    They said they sent notices to both me and Wells Fargo, my loan company, but I never got anything and of course, Wells Fargo said they never got anything.

    But they did send a refund after I was unknowingly dropped to my home address from 4 years ago.

    The check obviously was never cashed because I live in the home currently that was to being insured the last 3 years and they never sent anything to my current home, where I have the insurance.

    The Agent never called, no one ever pursued this, they just dropped me.

    Now they say I cannot get insurance during hurricane season.

    I find this company apathetic, unprofessional, and incompetent.

    And when trying to find insurance at other companies I am a liability because I have a lapse in insurance and have to pay an additional $1000.

    Reply
  2. Mr. Stauffer has written a review of this company well.

    As a security first insurance customer.

    I’m pleased with their product services, customer relations and process time to expedite my insurance claims.

    Getting the right company to repair the damage is another matter.

    Reply
  3. A tenant moved out and did damage to the walls and took the refrigerator.

    I turned in a claim on April 6, and my adjuster KAREN MINNICK sent me a form to fill out three weeks later.

    The tenant left doors off in the yard and I’m 3000 miles away.

    They told me to secure the house to ensure no more damage and I did at a cost of $100.00 that she refused to pay.

    She found a replacement refrigerator for $1666.00 but refused to pay the tax or shipping or the extended warranty I had on the other one.

    They authorized $445 to fix repairs that ended up costing me $888.

    The apartment was uninhabitable for two months but she refused to pay fair rental value.

    She normally took 4 days to answer Emails, never returned my 5 messages.

    I ask for her supervisor’s name but she refused to give it.

    This may sound unbelievable and it should.

    Reply
  4. Security First increased my premium by 31 percent, so I canceled.

    Based on the reviews, I’m prepared for a long wait for my refund.

    And my replacement insurance?

    Increased coverage by almost $100k, included flood coverage, and STILL reduced my premium by 20 percent from the prior year.

    Please shop before buying from these guys.

    Reply
  5. I started the cancellation process on May 3, 2019.

    I was told 10 business days to refund. It has been 12 business days now.

    I spoke to Cindy today, she says the check will be sent out on May 30,2019.

    I asked why do I have to wait so long.

    She says that the accounting department has 10 business days to send the check.

    I said I have already waited 10 business days.

    She says that was because it was in the policy department, they get 10 business days also.

    Will the mail room get 10 business days too?

    Reply
  6. Security first is known as a “take out” company to where the state of Florida need to move percent of wind policies off its state-supported wind pool,

    so there in security first chairman ex-senator knows the right folks in state in the CFO office allowing policies to be sent over,

    make no mistake Security First is not the only company known as a take out

    Hurricane Michael claims experience terrible!

    Poor customer service, field inspector was incompetent, did not even inspect the roof

    Paid 12 cent on dollar verse public adjusters estimate

    After 6 months they offered additional $12 -k on a $200-k claim! No thanks

    So filed civil claim, we will prevail, lawyers will make a handsome fee

    Reply
  7. Insurance rate was 41% higher for same coverage I got through AAA. After canceling it took them two weeks to send the refund check to me (psych). They mailed it to the home I moved from in Virginia (which they never insured – just a delay in sending the refund) instead of my Florida address. I called them to find this out and the Security First person apologized and said they would overnight the check Monday and I would get it Wednesday (psych). Called on Wednesday and asked where my check was and Security First personnel #2 said the check was mailed out that day and they NEVER overnight a check – they are not allowed. It took until Wednesday to get it through accounting. Still waiting on the check. I understand all the comments above about delays and bad service filing a claim. If they are this bad (over 3 weeks now) getting a policy cancellation refund returned – how well do you think they are going to do with your claim. If you still have them ….. shop. This company is clearly poorly run with employees who have no idea what their job is, what they can/cant do, etc. Better to move on before you need them.

    Reply
  8. The worst homeowners insurance. I paid close to 5,000 a year for my insurance for 25 years. One claim for storm damage and it was denied. That’s not “insurance”. They are HORRIBLE.

    Reply
  9. They just canceled me for non-payment. They were sending the mail to the wrong address. They made no effort to send the 2nd point of contact a letter or send us an email.

    Very corrupt company.I will see them in court.The declaration page shows my wife as the 2nd contact at the insured address.

    Reply
  10. After Hurricane Irma hit I took comfort in knowing I had good insurance with Security First. Unfortunately, I was very wrong. I called in a claim the day after Irma, an independent adjuster came to my home a few days after. Security First has yet to pay our claim. They have refused to send their adjuster back out. Our mitigation company had to do a lot of work. Security First is awful. I have had 4-5 different examiners and most have been rude! If you want to pay a lot for insurance and have your insurance company give you the run around when you need they. This is the insurance company for you!!!

    Reply
  11. I am at homeowner in the Pomona Park Florida It took me six weeks to get in touch with an Adjuster. Finally, she came Or water did the damage assessment and now four weeks best after no response from insurance, I keep calling every day the agents give me phone numbers that nobody answered I feel like I’m facing the wall that nobody talks to because they don’t really know what’s going on. Nobody could have answers about my case I have three small kids and the 90-year-old lady no heat no AC no hot water for 10 weeks the And my roof is leaking start getting mold Not a good insurance company. Still waiting for response

    Reply
  12. I’m dealing with Security First now from the Iram Hurricane. The adjuster did take the call and sent out a field adjuster within 5 days. Then within 20 days, they said they sent (via snail mail with no tracking) a settlement offer and a check. I asked for a electronic copy of the settlement offer and the desk adjuster sent it promptly.

    It’s been 30 days and we still haven’t received the check or paper copy of the settlement offer. I’ve called repeatedly- they never answer. I’ve sent numerous e-mails…they never acknowledge receipt, much less take action. Their on-line upload has been non-functional since (at least) the Hurricane.

    Their answers on-line (Google, BBB etc) are generic. It’s window dressing.

    As homeowners, we can’t give it the ole college try when it comes to premium payments. It seems this insurance company get’s a pass? Or maybe this is how they all operate.

    Reply

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