By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., also known as the insurer of last resort, has continued to add thousands of customers a week, reaching nearly 726,000 policies in October.

Numbers posted Wednesday on the Citizens website show the insurer had 725,942 policies on Oct. 31, up from 708,919 policies at the end of September.

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As a measure of its growth, Citizens had 521,289 policies on Oct. 31, 2020, and 419,475 policies on Oct. 31, 2019, the website shows. The growth has come as private insurers have sought large rate increases and dropped customers to reduce financial risks.

Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway has said Citizens is expected to top 1 million policies in 2022.

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Many state leaders have long sought to shift policies from Citizens to private insurers, pointing to financial risks for taxpayers if Citizens gets hit with claims from a major hurricane.

But what Gilway described last month as a “sea of red ink” in the private market has spurred the Citizens growth.

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