November 23, 2022
  • November 23, 2022

Property insurance for citizens in ‘financial good shape’ after Hurricane Ian

By on October 10, 2022 0

FT. MYERS, Fla. — Many feared a single big storm could cost every homeowner in Florida if state-backed insurer of last resort Citizens Property Insurance Corp. couldn’t afford to pay the claims of its most of a million fonts.

The insurer hit 1.1 million policies, more than double its average size, just before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, which spread from the Gulf Coast across the state to to the east coast with devastating winds and precipitation.

“This is our third Hurricane Charlie, and then we had Irma – a lot of damage to Irma, but that’s something we’ve never seen before,” Fort Myers Beach owner Cynthia Breski said. at ABC Action News.

More than a week after the hurricane, she had still not been allowed to return to the island to see what was left of her home. She rents an apartment while waiting, making several trips to the state’s Disaster Recovery Center Insurance Village in Ft. Myers, hoping to get help from his insurance company, Citizens.

“I came here today to follow up on my insurance again because we’re actually, a lot of us, homeless, with nothing,” Breski said.

Industry experts feared Citizens was accepting too many policies because of the rampant litigation and insolvencies that have plagued state property insurers in recent years.

We went to Citizens a week after Ian knocked to ask how they were holding up.

“What we are saying to our policyholders and everyone else right now is Citizens is in good financial shape. We’re structured to kind of handle the ups and downs of the market,” Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier told us at their stand in the insurance village.

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In a previous report, we explained that the state-backed organization is designed to handle any storm with the ability to assess insurance policies.

It starts with Citizens’ policyholders. If Citizens need more money to pay claims, their clients can be assessed up to 45% of their current premium.

If that’s not enough, citizens can assess all state homeowners up to 2% through their insurance company.

If that’s still not enough money, they can value every insurance policy up to 30% for several years, including renters and car insurance.

We asked Peltier if Citizens will have to assess policyholders to cover the cost of Ian’s claims.

He replied: ‘Right now, given the projections we’ve seen, we don’t think we’re going to be in a position where we have to levy surcharges on our policyholders or our assessments and other customers of insurance in Florida. . We have the surplus in place.

In August, Citizens told us that they had about $13.4 billion in claims capacity in the event of a storm.

Peltier said they expected the storm to cost them around $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion.

Citizens hold about 10 to 15 percent of the property insurance market in southwest Florida, according to Peltier, but their claims stretch across Ian’s path to the east coast.

They filed about 40,000 claims in the first week after Hurricane Ian, and they expect about 225,000 in total with projections of policyholders in the storm’s path.

Publication of Citizen Statistics Ian.png

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For many policyholders, it will just take patience.

“They told us right away that our claim was pending and we’re just waiting for an expert to call us,” Breski said.

The Insurance Information Institute tells us they expect total payments from Hurricane Ian to cost nearly $60,000, but their main concern is the billions in lawsuits against insurance companies that are already experiencing financial difficulties, explaining that many companies will be sued over windworm disputes. flood damage.

Residents who need in-person assistance from citizens, their insurance company, the DEO, or FEMA can visit one of two state insurance villages in Charlotte Counties and Lee, open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pitches:

15290 Bass Road Fort Myers, FL 33919

  • Port Charlotte Downtown Mall Parking Lot

1441 Tamiami TrailPort Charlotte, FL 33948