UPDATE — The president and CEO of Citizens Property Insurance says the state-backed insurer could have 1.2 million customers by the end of the year due to massive growth. Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has received a flood of policies during the past two years as private insurers have shed customers and sought hefty rate increases because of financial troubles.
Four insurers have been declared insolvent since February, but the bigger issue is that many other companies are not writing coverage. And now Citizens may have to drop 23-hundred homeowners to meet a $700,000 financial cap.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called a special legislative session in May to address problems in the broader insurance system.
Lawmakers made a series of changes, including trying to address roof-damage claims that insurers blame for increasing costs; trying to curb litigation costs about claims; and creating a $2 billion program to provide additional reinsurance to private insurers.
State Rep. Tom Fabricio who represents District 103 in South Florida spoke exclusively with 850WFTL about next week’s special legislative session on the state’s property insurance crisis.
Homeowners’ rates have jumped more than 20% as three Florida property insurers, Lighthouse Property Insurance, Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and St. Johns Insurance Co., have been declared insolvent since February.
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The state is now trying to balance the problem, stop the bleeding and bring more property insurers back into the state.
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Those homeowners who have been dropped by insolvent insurers are now forced to go the the state-run insurer Citizens insurance.
You may only purchase a Citizens Insurance policy if:
~No other insurer is willing to issue you a policy, or
~Coverage from private insurers is at least 20% higher than a similar Citizens policy.
Because of these reasons, Citizens is known as Florida’s “insurer of last resort.”
Typically, Florida property owners don’t turn to Citizens because they want to, but because they have no other choice.
Listen to the full interview with Rep. Tom Fabricio here.
Property Insurance special Session SFS