By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. added more than 25,000 policies in March, as private insurers continued to shed policies and raise rates.

Citizens had 817,926 policies as of March 31, up from 792,616 at the end of February, according to data posted on the Citizens website.

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Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has seen massive growth during the past two years amid financial problems in the private insurance market.

As a comparison, Citizens had 446,327 policies on March 31, 2020, and 569,868 policies on March 31, 2021.

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Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said recently he expects Citizens to top 1 million policies this year.

State leaders have long sought to shift policies from Citizens into the private market, at least in part because of financial risks if major hurricanes hit Florida.

But private insurers have dropped customers and sought hefty rate increases to stem financial losses, driving thousands of policies a week to Citizens.

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