Security First is a privately-held home insurance company, providing insurance to Florida residents – it was founded in 2005 by U.S. senator Locke Burt whose family was historically involved in the home insurance business. Mr. Burt’s family had an insurance agency in Des Moines more than 100 years ago, their first agency was founded in 1918. Hurricane Katrina prompted him to get into the home insurance business and since the funding of Security First, the company exclusively operates on Floridian soil.
Security First gained prominence following up Hurricane Katrina when many insurance companies were going bankrupt due to high claims and mass-devastation, and Security First managed to thrive back then. Security First is privately-owned and caters to middle-class Floridians – their home insurance policies are only available to homes estimated at a minimum of 6 figures.
Security First’s policies are basic and cover the most common residences in Florida – homes, condos and rental units. The company provides insurance to property owners, renters, and condominium owners. Security First offers immediate premium calculations but does not sell their policies directly – their policies are sold through a network of agents located all over the state of Florida. Security First is based out of Ormond Beach, FL.
Security First provides coverage for the following:
- Condominium units
- Rental units
- Units owned by landlords/seasonal properties
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Security First receives A-ratings from most financial institutions, but have mediocre feedback compared to the rate of complaints/unclosed claims. Demotech, one of the largest financial institutions (responsible for rating insurance agencies based on finances) gave Security First an A rating. Security First is likely to stay in business despite many devastating hurricanes, and it had no troubles paying out during Hurricane Irma. Security First specializes in the Floridian market, and they have the finances available to cover claims.
Security First is open and publically displays their premium rates – clients can receive immediate estimates based on the location of their home, the estimated value, and the shape. Their prices are displayed publically as opposed to many insurance companies who require clients to call agents before they can get an estimate. Security First’s rates are considered “average” for the Floridian market – they are not lower than the market average, nor are they higher than the average. Clients can expect average rates if their home meets the minimum value requirement.
Security First’s most popular plan is their HO-3 – instant estimates are available for all homes in Florida, based on the zip code and the appraised value of the home.
The minimums to qualify for Security First’s HO-3 plan are the following:
- $125,000+ for homes in inland Florida.
- $150,000+ for homes located in coastal Florida.
The rates are likely to increase if the home is near a river, swamp or any lake/dam with significant water contents (areas more prone to flooding).
The standard HO-3 package includes all repair costs for the structures of the property, loss of personal belongings, loss of use (in case the client has to move out while repairs are being carried out) and personal liability (if anyone is hurt in the insured home, the company has to bear the medical costs).
Security First is one of the first insurance companies to offer animal liability. The company also offers discounts for homes that are above the norm and have safety features and modern materials. If the home is new with an adequate roof, wind-resistant features and has security – it’s likely eligible for discounts and lower premiums. Security First also has discounts for senior citizens regardless of pension status.
The standard HO-3 plan comes with many options:
- Flood & water coverage (optional, as many as 50% of all Florida insurance claims are flood-related)
- Equipment replacement
- Identity protection
- Dog liability (one of the few companies to offer dog liability as an option)
- Personal liability
- Replacement cost of dwelling
- Golf Cart Damage
- Screened enclosure
- Increased limits for high-value homes
Security First offers condominium policies that do not include the repairs for the building – only the interior of the condominium. This plan is available for the following condominiums:
- Minimum estimated payout value of $25,000.
- Maximum estimated payout value of $250,000.
The condominium plan also includes personal liability and loss of use coverage, same as the HO-3 plan.
Security First’s renters policy is similar to the condominium policy, however, it has a maximum damage payout of $100,000 and a minimum payout of $15,000. It’s available to all citizens of Florida who currently reside as tenants in a rental unit.
Dwelling Fire Policy
Security First’s Dwelling Fire policy is available separately from both HO-3 and condo plans, and it can be taken out for both owner-occupied and rental properties. If the main home does not qualify for the HO-3 plan due to old age or bad condition, the company will recommend a Dwelling Fire plan. If the plan is taken out by a landlord, they will receive benefits such as loss of rent during repairs that made their property uninhabitable, based on the current rental value.
Security First received majority negative reviews. This is due to the company repetitively issuing lower settlement claims than the estimated repair cost, and many times clients are dropped off from their premiums for vague reasons. The reviews deem Security First an unreliable company.