Make us your home page
Instagram

Time to decide if you want to stick with Citizens insurance

TALLAHASSEE — The 30-day clock has begun for 160,683 property insurance policyholders to decide whether they want to remain with new private carriers or return to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The number of policies shifted out of Citizens is far fewer than anticipated when what is known as a "depopulation" effort began this summer. Still, the depopulation effort is moving Citizens closer to dropping below the 1 million customer mark for the first time since mid 2006.

"We're moving in the right direction, heading back to that carrier of last resort," Christine Ashburn, Citizens' director of legislative and external affairs, told members of the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee on Tuesday. "We're really starting to head back to that pre '04, '05 Citizens."

Citizens had 1.22 million policies as of Sept. 30.

The agency expects another 70,000 policies to be shifted to private carriers in December. Also, the state Office of Insurance Regulation in January could approve about 100,000 more policies for further takeout, Ashburn said.

The goal of the depopulation effort, as well as a legislatively approved insurance clearinghouse, is to direct what are expected to be many of the least-risky policies into the private market and to restore for Citizens the status of insurer of last resort. Ashburn said an ideal number of policies for Citizens is around 727,000.

"That would really put us back to older homes, lower value homes, the markets that are more the niche market, mobile homes in Florida," she said.

Still, the effort is going a little slower than anticipated.

The November takeout total of 160,683 policies is far below the 390,897 that had been approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation in August.

The private companies made 328,343 requests for policies, but many requests were for the same policies. A computer algorithm divided up the overlapping policies among the companies, which lowered the number of policies that faced a shift to 205,736.

The companies picking up the most accounts are Heritage Property & Casualty and Homeowners Choice. Both had been approved for up to 50,000 policies. Heritage received 35,737 policies, while Homeowners Choice got 34,872.

Other insurance companies involved in the takeout include Florida Peninsula, Southern Fidelity, Southern Oak, Tower Hill Preferred, Town Hill Prime, Town Hill Signature, United Property & Casualty and Weston.

For those impacted in the current round, customers have 30 days following their policies being acquired to decide if they want to stay with the private carrier or return to Citizens.

Those shifted won't see a change in rates through the term of the current policy, Ashburn said.

Nearly 45,000 homeowners have opted out of the takeout in the past month.

Time to decide if you want to stick with Citizens insurance 11/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times

  2. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  3. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  4. International array of artists chosen as finalists for pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A diverse group of six artists will compete for a chance to install their work at the city's multimillion-dollar Pier District, expected to open in early 2019.

  5. Gourmet food fight between top chefs raises $200,000

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — The chefs came armed with their secret ingredients — pork rinds, truffle butter, pork bellies.

    (From left to right) Chefs Ryan Mitchell, Michael Buttacavoli, Ted Dorsey and Matthew Brennan compete during Tampa Bay Food Fight at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event features chefs from the Tampa Bay area and benefitted Metropolitan Ministries. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times