How is Citizens Property Insurance different from other Florida homeowners insurance companies?
Monday, July 9, 2018
Citizens Insurance is a not-for-profit “insurer of last resort” for Florida homeowners. It was created by the Florida Legislature in 2002 and quickly became the largest insurer in Florida. The impetus for its creation was the devastation and $26.5 billion price tag when Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992. The storm bankrupted smaller private insurance companies and made the larger ones decide to pull out of the state.
Because almost one million coastal property owners were unable to find insurance after Andrew, the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Florida Residential and the Casualty Joint Underwriting Association were set up after the storm by the state government to fill the void created by the mass exit of private insurers. The two entities were merged to create Citizens in 2002 and, initially, agents were prohibited from writing policies if there was a private company (not surplus lines) that would take the risk.
Although most of the large insurance companies have since returned to Florida and there are also new, smaller insurers writing homeowners policies, Citizens Insurance is still likely to be the only company that will accept coastal properties and homes more than 50 years old.
Also, see our blog post Why does my homeowner's insurance want a four point inspection?
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