Citizens Insurance could hit 750,000 policies

citizens
Citizens had 569,868 policies as of March 31.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. could have 750,000 policies at the end of 2021 based on the current rate of customers turning to the state-backed insurer for coverage, officials said this week.

“On a straight-line basis, we’re looking at 750,000 policies, assuming the current rate of about 5,000 net new customers per week,” Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said during a Citizens Board of Governors meeting Tuesday.

Board Chairman Carlos Beruff, pointing to the booming housing market, said he thinks Citizens will “easily get to 750,000, which is a very bad place.”

Citizens had 569,868 policies as of March 31 amid moves by private insurers to shed policies and seek rate increases. At the end of 2019, by comparison, Citizens had 442,203 policies. Pointing in part to financial risks, state leaders have long sought to shift policies out of Citizens and into the private market.

The Legislature last month approved a bill (SB 76) that includes changes aimed at slowing the growth of Citizens and making it less competitive with private insurers.

As an example, the bill would allow larger annual rate increases for customers of Citizens. Such increases currently are capped at 10%, but that limit would be gradually raised to 15%. The bill has not been formally sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis for action.

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Republished with permission from News Service of Florida.

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