Security First Home Insurance Review: Expensive Florida Insurer Does Little to Stand Out

Security First Home Insurance Review: Expensive Florida Insurer Does Little to Stand Out

Editor's Rating

A poor customer experience and expensive rates make Security First one of the least competitive options for Florida homeowners.

Good for

  • Florida residents who want an established and financially strong insurer
  • Customers who enjoy the convenience of managing their policies online

Bad for

  • People looking for high-quality customer service
  • Homeowners looking for cheap insurance rates
  • Those with high-value homes that may exceed coverage limits
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Editor's Rating

A poor customer experience and expensive rates make Security First one of the least competitive options for Florida homeowners.

Good for

  • Florida residents who want an established and financially strong insurer
  • Customers who enjoy the convenience of managing their policies online

Bad for

  • People looking for high-quality customer service
  • Homeowners looking for cheap insurance rates
  • Those with high-value homes that may exceed coverage limits
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Security First is a Florida-focused homeowners insurance company whose poor customer service cannot justify its higher rates. The company provides most of the policy coverage you'll need and has useful online tools, but its competitors offer more competitive packages.

Security First home insurance: Our thoughts

Security First offers standard homeowners insurance coverage catered to the Florida market. But given its poor customer service and high rates, there are several better options in the state. Reviews of the company's customer experience cite poor responsiveness and a lack of clarity from the company on policy coverage. Indicative of its poor reputation, Security First has the worst customer complaint ratio of any of the major insurers in the state by far.

On the plus side, the company's policies provide comprehensive coverage with some added bonuses, such as replacement cost coverage for damage to your home and belongings. The company is technologically sophisticated for a regional insurer, too. Its website has a useful quote calculator that can get you a price estimate within minutes, adding transparency to the buying process. Additionally, much of the claims process can be handled electronically through its mobile app. Security First also rates as a financially strong insurer.

Bottom line: The Security First homeowners insurance offering is standard fare, and its limited perks can't compensate for its poor customer service reputation and high rates. If you're a home insurance shopper in Florida, Security First is one of the least competitive options available.

Security First home insurance: Policy coverage

The Security First homeowners insurance policy offers fairly typical coverage. As the table below illustrates, its policies generally cover the same items as other homeowners insurance offerings: your dwelling and other structures, personal belongings, additional living expenses and liability costs. If you have a high-value home, you should note that coverage for the structure of your home under Security First has a maximum limit of $1 million.

One standout feature in the Security First offering is the inclusion of replacement cost coverage for both the structure of your home and your personal belongings. Replacement cost coverage means that you will be reimbursed for damage to your home and belongings at their current prices, ignoring wear and tear. Offering this type of coverage for personal belongings is especially rare, and it means Security First provides ample coverage — up to the limits of your policy — if your home contents are destroyed in a covered peril.

Coverage
How it works
Range of limits
The structure of your home (Coverage A)Covers damage to the structure of your home for a covered loss at replacement cost$100,000 to $1 million
Other structuresCovers damage to other structures on the premises, like a garage or shed2% to 70% of Coverage A
Personal belongingsCovers damage or theft of the contents of your home at replacement cost25% to 75% of Coverage A
Additional living expensesCovers the costs of staying elsewhere if your home is temporarily uninhabitable, such as room and board10% of Coverage A
Personal liability coverageProtects you and your family from lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage to others$100,000 to $500,000
Medical paymentsCovers medical costs in the event guests are injured on your property$1,000 to $5,000
Ordinance or law coverageCovers the increased costs to rebuild or repair your home to meet current building codes25% of Coverage A
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Security First Insurance also offers a variety of optional coverages that can be added to your homeowners insurance policy for an additional cost. For instance, if you're a Florida resident wary of the dangers of water backup or a sump pump failure, you can purchase an endorsement to cover this event in your policy. Optional add-ons such as these can be quite cheap: Buying water backup or sump pump coverage up to a limit of $5,000 could add as little as $20 to your annual premium.

One downside of Security First's policies is that you will have limited ways to reduce your price. This insurer offers few discounts, and those that are available aren't significant enough to be impactful. For instance, the company does not offer options for bundling auto and homeowners insurance for savings, and its lifestyle discounts — such as a discount for a central fire alarm — are quite small.

You should also be aware of exclusions to coverage and additional costs in your policy related to hurricanes. Many of these exclusions and costs are common across Florida insurers, and Security First is no exception. One example is a separate hurricane deductible, which is set as a percentage of total policy coverage. For instance, let's say you select a policy covering the structure of your home up to $500,000 with a 2% hurricane deductible. If a hurricane strikes, you will have to pay $10,000 out of pocket before Security First begins covering the damage. And certain unattached structures, such as fences and sheds, may be excluded from coverage in the event of a hurricane.

Supplementary flood coverage

Flood insurance isn't covered by standard homeowners insurance, but Security First policyholders can purchase flood insurance through its partner, Wright Flood. This may create a slight hassle for customers, as they'll have to work with a separate company, Wright Flood, rather than Security First when filing a claim. But it does allow you to streamline your flood and homeowners insurance purchases.

Security First home insurance quote comparison

Security First rates are not especially affordable when measured against top Florida homeowners insurers. Security First annual premiums range from moderate to expensive when compared to some of the largest Florida insurers by market share.

Although notably cheaper than major insurer State Farm, Security First was generally rated as the most expensive when compared to two regional insurers — Universal Property and Federated National — across three different home values. This is especially true for newer houses with a high property value. For houses worth $300,000, Security First policies are approximately 35% to 40% more expensive than policies from Federated National or Universal Property.

Security First Quote

One benefit of looking into a Security First policy is that you can get an instant quote on its website and find prices for yourself. By entering details about your house — for example, location, square footage and wind-resistant features — you can obtain a rough estimate of your Security First annual premium. The calculator can even be used to estimate how your premium will change with different deductibles. You should be aware that the calculator doesn't represent a guaranteed premium, and the company will email you with follow-up questions before providing a more accurate rate.

Security First customer service reviews and ratings

Based on customer reviews and complaints, Security First Insurance Co. rates particularly poorly in regards to customer service. Customer reviews are overwhelmingly negative, citing breakdowns in communication in the claims process and a lack of clarity in the finer details of policy coverage. Security First also has an exceedingly poor complaint ratio as calculated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Compared to a national median of 1.0, Security First scores a 14.5, which is unusually high and by far the worst among major Florida insurers.

Conversely, Security First receives good ratings from a financial perspective, so it may provide peace of mind if you're concerned about your insurer's financial health. Demotech, a firm that evaluates the financial stability of regional insurers, gave Security First an A rating for financial strength, meaning the company is very likely to stay in business, even given the extreme weather patterns in Florida.

Filing a claim with Security First

Although customers have criticized the effectiveness and transparency of the claims process, Security First does offer several ways to file claims, track your coverage and make payments. The insurer has a 24/7 claims team, and you can reach the company by dialing its phone number; accessing its online portal, My Security First, using your customer login; or downloading its mobile app, Security First Mobile.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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