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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Citizens Insurance revamps its unpopular reinspections program



Citizens Property Insurance Corp. announced Friday it is making significant changes to its home reinspection program following an outcry from consumers and recent media coverage over a staggering $137 million in premium increases tied to the initial program.

Under its new plans, homeowners who lose insurance discounts due to a reinspection can receive a second inspection free of charge and will have new tools to dispute first inspectors' findings.

"In response to policyholder and agent feedback, Citizens is implementing changes to its inspection program to address concerns about the implementation and quality of the program as well as provide better education on the importance of protecting homes against storm damage," said Citizens board chairman Carlos Lacasa.

Citizens is still deciding whether to apply the changes retroactively. That decision could impact more than 175,000 property owners, who have lost an average of $800 in credits after their inspections.

The announcement comes less than a week after the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau published a series of stories documenting how hundreds of thousands of Floridians have seen premiums soar as the state-run insurer intensifies its plans to raise rates through reinspections and reduce coverage.

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[Last modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 1:21pm]


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