TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – After years of a relatively stable number of policies, the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. expects to see an increase to more than 500,000 policies this year, according to a report President and CEO Barry Gilway is slated to present to the Citizens Board of Governors on Wednesday.

Citizens is projected to have about 517,000 at the end of 2020, the first time since 2015 that it has topped 500,000 policies, the report indicates.

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Citizens has long focused on trying to move policies into the private insurance market and has maintained a year-end policy count of between 427,392 and 455,843 over the past four years. That came after earlier years when the state’s insurer of last resort topped more than 1 million policies.

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For example, Citizens had about 1.31 million policies in 2012. But Gilway’s report points to issues in the private insurance industry for the expected increase in policies this year. As an example, he cited “profitability problems” that are causing private insurers to limit the amount of coverage they write.

Also, he cited higher costs for reinsurance — essentially insurance for insurers — and litigation trends.

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