Florida’s ‘last resort’ property insurance provider now has over 1 million policies | Florida News | Tampa
The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. topped one million policies for the first time since 2014.
Created as an insurer of last resort, Citizens has absorbed a flood of policies as private insurers abandon customers and push for big rate increases due to financial losses.
The Citizens website showed on Thursday that it had 1,000,624 fonts as of August 5, up from 937,835 fonts on July 8.
Citizens chairman and chief executive Barry Gilway said the insurer could reach 1.2 million policies by the end of the year as many private companies do not underwrite cover.
“The market is probably 75% closed,” Gilway told the Citizens Board of Governors on July 13. “(There are) very, very few companies that are really open to the market.”
Citizens had 883,333 policies at the end of May. As longer-term illustrations of growth, Citizens had 661,150 policies as of June 31, 2021 and 486,773 policies as of July 31, 2020, according to data from its website.
State leaders have long sought to limit the size of citizens due to the potential financial risks if Florida were hit by major hurricanes.
If citizens don’t have enough money to pay claims after a disaster, they can collect additional funds from policyholders across the state – a process known as collecting assessments.
“Citizens Insurance topping the 1 million policy mark signals a faltering market, exposing millions of Floridians and local businesses to even higher costs in the form of hurricane taxes,” said President and CEO. Florida Chamber of Commerce executive Mark Wilson in a statement. Thursday, equating contributions to taxes.
Governor Ron DeSantis called a special legislative session in May to address the property insurance system, but problems persist.
A total of five private insurers have been declared insolvent since February, with Weston Property and Casualty Insurance being the latest to go into receivership.
Citizens topped one million policies after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons in which seven storms made landfall in Florida. But Citizens hadn’t topped one million fonts since February 2014.