FLORIDA – Citizens property insurance policyholders are getting letters in the mail asking them to switch to private insurance companies. The state-backed “insurer of last resort” is switching 300,000 policies. Citizens currently has more than 1.4 million insurance policies.
Sean Way from We Insure offered some advice on how to avoid any stress or surprises. “Don’t wait on the U.S. mail system. Go ahead and call your agent and see where things stand now.”
In an effort to reduce the number of policies Citizens carries, it is offering customers a chance to switch to a private carrier, at a potentially higher cost.
Agents say if the offer you receive from Citizens through a private insurance company is within 20% of Citizens’ rates, you will no longer be eligible for property insurance with Citizens.
TELL US: Have you gotten a letter from Citizens offering you to switch to another insurer?
It doesn’t mean you have to go with that particular private company, but you or your agent will need to shop around, because you’ll no longer be able to get coverage through Citizens.
Way says he’s seen the property insurance premiums skyrocket.
“What I’ve seen is premiums that have doubled and sometimes gone up 150%. So, that’s why it behooves policyholders. If you’re unsure, if you haven’t received anything in the mail, just give your agent a call. They can look you up in the system and see if you’re a part of the depopulation and assist you,” Way said.
We asked News4JAX viewers have gotten the letter.
Ann wrote, “Yes, offer received. Three carriers in six years, now with Citizens. Policy recently reviewed at $3043. Offer from another insurance company is $6291. Crazy!”
Doreen wrote, “I got it. I was told by my insurance agent that I have no choice. I have to switch to the other carrier and it’s more expensive.”
And Amanda wrote, “Yes, we received the letter too but don’t understand why. We thought we paid for a policy with Citizens and how we get this letter.”
Way says while higher premiums can create financial hardships for Florida homeowners, there are signs that Florida’s property insurance crisis is improving.
“I was at a meeting yesterday with one of my carry representatives. And from that meeting, they’re starting to see a lot of positive changes in the market , as far as the reinsurance market is concerned. And this is all a result of the laws that were signed into effect. So hopefully, if we can get through this hurricane season, without any major storms, there’s a chance we could see rates going down next year,” Way said.
Customers have until Oct. 5 to respond to the offer letter. There have been reports of some delays in getting the letters mailed out because of the sheer volume of policy holders affected, which is another reason why you shouldn’t necessarily wait for the letter if you don’t have to. Call your insurance agent for advice.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.
Clinton Mora is a reporter for Trending Insurance News. He has previously worked for the Forbes. As a contributor to Trending Insurance News, Clinton covers emerging a wide range of property and casualty insurance related stories.