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Citizens Ins. Moving Out Up to 26K Policies

The state-run “insurer of last resort” has seen its number of policies surge to 1.3M, but it plans to move up to 26K of those to private companies later this summer.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida state regulators have approved proposals by two insurers to take as many as 26,000 policies from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky last week signed orders that would allow Slide Insurance Co. to take as many as 25,000 policies from Citizens starting in August and Loggerhead Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange to take as many as 1,000 policies.

Citizens has seen explosive growth during the past two years as private insurers have dropped customers, raised rates and, in some cases, gone insolvent because of financial problems. On May 26, Citizens had 1.3 million policies.

Many state leaders have long sought to move policies from Citizens into the private market, in part because of financial risks if a major hurricane hits Florida.

Under a law passed in December, Citizens policyholders are required to accept offers of coverage from private insurers if the offers are within 20% of the cost of Citizens’ premiums. Lawmakers say they approved that change because Citizens often charges less than private insurers.

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