If you’re one of the thousands of South Florida Homeowners insured by the state-run Citizens’ Insurance Program, you may have gotten a letter from them recently. or from another Insurance Company that you’ve probably never heard of.
It’s all part of a recent effort by Gov. Ric Scott and the Florida Legislature to “shrink” Citizens’ Insurance, and move policy holders in private companies.
But if you just threw the letters out, you will automatically be “depopulated” into another company you may nothing about, even though you haven’t approved it.
It’s called a “Negative Option” plan and is intentionally aimed at getting as many policyholders as possible off Citizens’ Coverage, according to a member of the groups’ Board of Directors.
84,000 Policies have already been “Taken Out” and it’s believed as many as 210,000 more, mainly based in High Risk Coastal Areas of South Florida, have also been earmarked.
The goal is reduce Citizens’ Exposure and allow Private Companies to take over more “risk” in the event of a bad Storm.
But critics argue the way the program is being done does not give homeowners enough information about the new companies that want to take over their policies, or their ability to pay claims in the event of any major storm losses.
Making the problem even worse?
There’s a 30 day countdown that expires on Nov. 6th for this recent group of Homeowners “selected” for depopulation.
In simple language that means if you do nothing and fail to send back the proper “Opt Out Forms” to just ”Say No”, you will automatically be removed from Citizen’s Insurance and its’ Homeowners’ Insurance Coverage will be taken over by a new company.
Citizens’ Insurance’s Main Web Page has little information on the plan, so many Homeowners may be frustrated getting more information on “Just Saying No”, but CBSMiami has found more information for you to decide for yourself if you want to accept the new coverage, or want to opt out and stay with your current Citizens’ Policy.
Still, some customers like Doral’s Waldo Faura say its’ new plan is optional, customers can just say no…and he charges Citizens isn’t telling its’ customers all the details. Faura adds “Absolutly not..I think Citizens has been on the path to push insurance policies for the insurance companies at the expense of the insured and this is another means, another way of doing it.
If you get your letter that a private company wants to take over your Citzens’ coverage, you may want to check out its’website for more information.
But when you go to the main web page, there’s virtually no information on its’ depopulation plan.
Dig a little deeper .and you can finally find all the details.
We crunched the numbers for you and found the plan targets some 200-hundred thousand policies thru an automatic negative option aimed at increasing private insurance coverage.
To decline the offer, you have to file a formal opt-out form within 30 days. Citizens has a special hotline set-up to handle questions at 888-685-1555.
Remember, if you got one of these letters from the state’s citizen’s insurance program, you must formally notify them by November 6th if you want to stay in the program and not be “taken over” by another company.
You can also get more information from your local insurance agent.
For More details on the latest “Insurance Depopulation Plan” and how it may effect your insurance coverage:
Thursday Update: `10-18-2012
Florida Announces another 100,000 Polices Chosen for “Depopulation”
-NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION-
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2012
Office Approves Up to 100,000 Policies for Citizens December Take-Out
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced the approval of up to 100,00 policies to be removed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) by two Florida domestic insurance companies starting on December 4, 2012. American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida was approved to take-out 50,000 policies in November and is approved for an additional 40,000 in December. Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company, recently licensed in August 2012 and with a home office in St. Petersburg, FL, has been approved to remove 60,000 policies.
There have been 84,339 policies removed from Citizens through the take-out process as of September 2012. The Office has approved up to an additional 6,643 for October, 210,000 for November and 100,000 for December.
In an effort to provide even greater transparency for Citizens policyholders, each of the companies participating in the November and December take-out process created a “Citizens Coverage Comparison” list that details their policy coverage options relative to what is offered by Citizens.
List of Office approved take-outs from October – December 2012:
|NUMBER OF POLICY REMOVALS||COVERAGE COMPARISON|
|First Community Insurance Company||October||6,643||n/a|
|Florida Peninsula Insurance Company||November||45,000||Coverage Comparison|
|Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company||November||75,000||Coverage Comparison|
|Southern Fidelity Property & Casualty, Inc.||November||30,000||Coverage Comparison|
|Southern Oak Insurance Company||November||10,000||Coverage Comparison|
|American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida||November
|Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company||December||60,000||Coverage Comparison|
By Florida law, Citizens policyholders will be notified of the take-out request (assumption) and will have 30 days to accept or decline the offer. If policyholders do not respond, they will be “assumed” by the Florida domestic company on December 4th.
Visit the Office’s Take-Out Companies website page for more information about the take-out process and to view the financial status of all approved take-out companies. You can also visit the Office’s News Release website page for previous press releases regarding Citizens take-outs.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm.