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Private insurer cleared to assume 15,000 Citizens Insurance policies

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has cleared Southern Oak Insurance Co. to take over as many as 15,000 home policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Southern Oak is eligible to assume the policies effective April 18 under the “take-out” process — a way for Citizens to shift policies to private insurers.

The process is sometimes referred to as “depopulation,” and Citizens’ goal is to let private companies assume as many policies as they can responsibly handle.

But the depopulation rate has been slowing. During the first two months of 2016, the Office of Insurance Regulation approved depopulation of 200,000 policies, according to Citizens.

For 2017, the office has approved nearly 56,000 take-outs through April.

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