The Travelers Companies said it plans to discontinue its participation as a Write-Your-Own (WYO) company in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Travelers is selling its WYO policy renewal rights interest to American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida (ABIC), part of Assurant Inc. Travelers declined to specify how many WYO policies it has written, except to say that it is “a very small portion” of the company’s business.

Travelers said it will stop writing new WYO business on Sept. 15, 2013, and it will stop offering WYO renewal policies on Sept. 1, 2013, for policies effective Oct. 15, 2013, and later.

“This was a small, non-core part of our business and exiting the program eliminates the operational complexity associated with maintaining separate underwriting and claim processes required for participation,” a Travelers representative told Insurance Journal.

“We are working with ABIC to ensure a smooth transition for policyholders and agents. We will continue to service and provide claim handling for policies issued through Travelers.”

There are currently 85 companies participating in the WYO program, according to a list on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website.

The WYO program began in 1983 and is a cooperative undertaking of the insurance industry and FEMA. The program allows participating property/casualty insurance companies to write and service the standard flood insurance policy in their own names. The companies receive an expense allowance for policies written and claims processed while the federal government retains responsibility for underwriting losses. The WYO program operates as part of the National Flood Insurance Program, and is subject to its rules and regulations.