Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was created in Florida in 2002 to provide property insurance for home-owners who could not obtain insurance elsewhere, an insurer of last resort. It is a government established, not-for-profit insurer in Florida. It is the largest insurer in the state.[1]

It is not connected with for-profit insurers with similar names.[2][3]

Contents

History

Up to 2010, as more and more companies pulled out of the Florida market due to the extraordinary number of hurricane and sinkhole related claims over the preceding few years, Citizens became not the insurer of last resort but the insurer of only resort for many Floridians. The cost of insurance and its availability became an important "hot button" issue in Florida, especially in the 2006 elections.

Prior to 2002

Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association[4] was created after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 devastated Miami. Citizens was originally created as an "insurer of last resort," with many large risk carriers leaving the state while homeowners still needed to retain insurance coverage. [5][6]

"In 2002, the Legislature merged FRPCJUA with the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA) into one entity, forming the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation."[4]

After 2002

From their web site: In 2002, the Florida Legislature passed a law that combined the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA) and the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA). This resulted in the creation of Citizens Property insurance Corporation (Citizens), whose goal is to more efficiently and effectively provide insurance to, and serve the needs of, home-owners in high-risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the open, private insurance market.

Up until the beginning of 2007, Citizens Insurance charged its customers the highest legal rate (highest approved rate by the Office of Insurance Regulation) so as to avoid competing with private carriers. Insurance agents were actually prohibited from writing policies through Citizens if there was a private (not surplus lines) carrier who could write the risk. With the recent changes by the Florida legislature, agents may write a Citizens policy for customers if a comparable policy offered by a private carrier is 15% greater (Florida Senate Bill 2498 (the Glitch Bill) signed into law by Governor Crist on June 11, 2007). Also, customers are now allowed to keep their Citizens policy if they do not wish to be insured by an assuming carrier - an insurance company who is taking the risk from Citizens; previously customers who were "taken out" were not allowed a choice.[7]

After 2010, eight global insurance carriers, including State Farm, entered, or re-entered the Florida market. While the cost of reinsurance dropped 10% in 2010 and was expected to drop further in 2011, the cost of insurance to consumers remained the same.[8]

In 2010 State Farm and Renaissance jointly formed DaVinci Reinsurance Ltd. which insured more than 3.5 million homes in 2010.[8]

According to testimony in legislative committee on March 29, 2011, Citizens had over $240 billion dollars in risk exposure if Florida is hit by a "century storm". Citizens' reserves were approximately $15 billion. This actuarially unsound situation resulted in a call for Citizens to raise its rates and become, once again, the insurer of last resort.[citation needed]

Administration

In 2011, it had cash and investment totaling $11.3 billion. It had 1.3 million policyholders.[9]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Insurance". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida): pp. 8A. March 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Several companies in the Hanover Insurance Group use "Citizens Insurance" as part of their names. See: http://www.hanover.com/thg/companies.htm, Hanover's List of Affiliated Companies.
  3. ^ Also, see: Citizens Life Insurance, Citizens Insurance Company of America, a life insurer with executive offices in Texas.
  4. ^ a b http://www.oppaga.state.fl.us/profiles/4102/02/
  5. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/11/1523471/strengthen-citizens-insurance.html
  6. ^ http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/southeast/2004/10/11/partingshots/48941.htm
  7. ^ http://www.citizensfla.com
  8. ^ a b Reed, Matt (3 March 2011). "Insurers still like Florida". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida): pp. 1B. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110303/COLUMNISTS0207/103030311/Matt-Reed-Money-trail-shows-insurers-still-like-Florida. 
  9. ^ Reed, Matt (April 24, 2011). "Citizens Property is in good shape". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida): pp. 1B. http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011104240328. 

External links


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