Florida’s State run homeowners’ insurance company, Citizens Property Insurance, has been sharply criticized once again for its intended $350 million loan to private insurance companies in exchange for these companies committing to take over policies currently underwritten by Citizens for a period of at least 10 years.
Thanks to a benevolent few years without any significant hurricane damage related claims (not since Wilma in 2005) and continued increases in premiums as well as deductibles, Citizens has been able to substantially increase the size of its contingency coffers to a whopping $6.2 billion, from where it intends to issue the questioned $350 million surplus note to motivate private insurers to take some of its current policies. Citizens’ size reduction is a mandate from Governor Rick Scott and explains why the Governor was so enthusiastically supported throughout his campaign by the insurance industry…
State Representatives Doing Their Job
According to the miamiherald.com, this time the whipping came from Representative Frank Artiles, R-Miami, who wrote “quite simply, it is reckless to rush the (surplus note) program through without taking time to vet the program and make sure that it works”. Rep. Artiles believes that last month’s quick unveiling and approval of the plan by the company’s board with little public input and no legislative approval is against the law.
The problem, Rep. Artiles continues, is that several of those private insurers that have shown interest in participating in the program have troubled financial records and could go bankrupt after a major hurricane, leaving Citizens liable for millions of dollars in losses once the loans go into default. Moreover, Rep. Artiles has pointed out that several other insurers have taken over policies from Citizens without requesting any cash incentive, something that draws into question the need for such a loan program.
Finally, Rep. Artiles has submitted a lengthy public records request seeking more details on the program. Rep. Artiles hopes that his request will prompt “the board of Citizens to take a step back and allow an audit of these insurers while discussing its plan with its policyholders, the public, the governor, and the Florida Legislature”. In his opinion, “A decision like this, which affects both taxpayer dollars and the future of property insurance in Florida, deserves to be discussed in a rational public way.”
We Can Help
You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike.
Moreover, please note that if your home has already sustained damages, our team of loss consultants, paralegals, and attorneys will assist you in every aspect of your claim. Our loss consultant will even go to your home to evaluate the damage you sustained at no cost or obligation to you. Contact us today for a free inspection by our loss consultant.
With more than 75 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.