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As Citizens sheds policies, customers face new headaches

In the next month, almost 400,000 people whose homes are covered by the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will get a letter in the mail from another insurance company taking over their homeowners’ insurance coverage by Nov. 5.

Policyholders will have two options:

Say no, and remain with Citizens, taking a chance that their options will become even more limited beginning in January, when a $44.9 million clearinghouse comes online to allow insurance agents in the private market to handpick Citizens policies.

Or say yes, accepting the coverage from the so-called “takeout” company, one of 10 smaller carriers. Unlike Citizens, those companies have the right to raise insurance premiums by unlimited amounts when the policies come up for renewal.

It’s all part of the aggressive and controversial push by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to shed Citizens Property Insurance of its 1.2 million state-subsidized policies. Under current law, if Citizens falls short of the cash it needs to pay its claims after a massive storm, policyholders of other lines of insurance and state taxpayers will be assessed fees to foot the bill.

But as Citizens shifts policies to the private market, the bottom line for homeowners is that costs will rise. Private companies don’t face the same rate caps as those imposed on Citizens, and they don’t benefit from the taxpayer-backed system. Story here.

A breakout of the targeted number of policies by local county here:

Takeout company

Total policies targeted

Broward

 

Miami

Dade

Palm Beach

 

 

Monroe

Florida Peninsula Insurance Company –

50,000

5,491

 

 

11,385

2,947

 

 

0

Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company

50,000

         Yes*

 

 

Yes*

Yes*

 

 

          No

Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company –

50,374

4,554

 

 

3,672

3,936

 

 

156

Southern Fidelity Property & Casualty, I

30,000

2,064

 

 

3,581

157

 

 

0

Southern Oak Insurance Company –

10,000

700

 

 

800

500

 

 

100

Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company –

34,415

3,553

 

 

7,559

5,144

 

 

312

Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company –

38,430

4,055

 

 

14,127

4,828

 

 

178

Tower Hill Signature Insurance Company –

24,578

3,756

 

 

14,383

0

 

 

129

United Property and Casualty Insurance Company

100,000

0

 

 

0

0

 

 

0

Weston Insurance Company

5,935

238

 

 

0

0

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Numbers not available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/08/v-fullstory/3614736/as-citizens-sheds-policies-consumers.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

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Not sure

It's an election year, by the time the complaints start rolling in, legislators will be running to file legislation to allow everyone to stay in Citizens and Rick Scott will be to afraid to veto said legislation.

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