Plans to rehabilitate the Florida insurer Windhaven Insurance Co. have been deemed “useless” by the Florida court system. On March 4, the lender started a process to sell certain company assets at a public auction.

Back on Dec. 23, 2019, the Florida Department of Financial Services notified the court that Windhaven Insurance was insolvent and recommended liquidation. 

Windhaven Insurance is headquartered in Miami, FL, and became licensed in Florida in 2005. As of November 2019, it’s reported Windhaven has about 73,000 active policies in the state. The insurer also employs more than 700 agents, or "Windies," throughout locations in Florida and Texas. 

Employees at the Windhaven Claims Management’s facility in Miami were told by the company they would be laid off on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. 

Liquidation of Windhaven’s assets, estate and property was effective Jan. 6, 2020.

What this means for Windhaven policyholders

If you have an insurance policy with Windhaven Insurance, you’ll need to find new auto insurance right away. All non-expired insurance policies or coverage contracts will be cancelled effective 12:01AM on Feb. 5, 2020. You should continue to pay your premium if you owe for any coverage between now and Feb. 5, 2020.

Windhaven agents have been required to provide a written notice of the receivership (liquidation) by registered or certified mail, or by email with delivery receipt required, to the last known address of current policyholders.

What if I’m owed a premium refund? If you have paid your premium beyond the date of cancellation, you will get a refund for any unused premium amount. Note, a $100 statutory deductible will be applied to the refund. That is, they will provide a refund in the amount after the first $100 of calculated unearned premium amount. If your refund amount is less than $100, you will not receive a refund check.

What if I have to file a claim, or already have a claim filed with Windhaven? The deadline for filing any claims to Windhaven is Jan. 2, 2021. If you have already filed a claim with Windhaven, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) will help pay covered claims. The Department of Financial Services website has more information on filing claims here.

Switching auto insurance

Fortunately for drivers, switching car insurance is pretty simple. Your auto insurance policy isn’t like a mobile phone contract that you are locked into for a set period of time or terms.

Changing insurance carriers is also typically done at no-cost to you. If you’ve paid your policy in advance, such as a six-month or annual premium, you should receive a refund for the amount of the unused premium.

Don't cancel your insurance

Before you cancel your insurance with Windhaven or any provider, you need to have your new car insurance policy in place. Having a lapse - even just one day - in auto insurance could cause your rates to skyrocket. 

Compare car insurance

Shopping for car insurance isn’t sexy, but it can save you hundreds of dollars every year. An online quotes comparison tool like Squeeze will get you multiple quotes so you can find the lowest rates.