Citizens nearly under 500,000 insurance policies but worried about 'out-of-control' Miami-Dade water claims
Not many companies celebrate losing customers and watching their business shrink. But that is exactly what Barry Gilway, president of the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was doing this morning.
At a board of governors meeting for the company in Maitland, Gilway said Citizens is down to 509,000 policies and by the end of the month will likely be under 500,000 policies. The company in 2011 had nearly 1.5 million policies. The result has been a drop in revenue from premiums from $3.2 billion at one point, to under $1 billion expected in 2016.
“We’ve had a pretty extraordinary year,” Gilway said.
Citizens has been under political pressure to reduce its share of Florida’s property insurance market since 2011. Citizens was intended to be an insurer of last resort, but instead became the state’s largest insurance company over time, especially after the historic 2004 hurricane season when four storms hit the state.
But since 2011, the state has been on an aggressive “depopulation” campaign over the last four years, where the state has tried to push customers out of Citizens toward private companies. But some have questioned the tactics, saying many people were shifted out of Citizens without proper notification. Citizens has reformed some of its policies to give homeowners who don’t want to be pushed out of Citizens, a better opportunity to opt out.