Regulators approve taking nearly 183,000 more policies out of Citizens Property

Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times

By Jeff Harrington

Published November 1, 2014


The exodus of homeowners policies out of Citizens Property Insurance continued Wednesday as state regulators approved transferring up to 182,567 more policies to nine private insurers.

State-run Citizens, the insurer of last resort for those who cannot find coverage on the open market, has been under pressure to push as many policies as possible into the private marketplace.

One big incentive: If Citizens is overwhelmed by catastrophe claims after a major hurricane, all Floridians with insurance could be on the hook to bail it out.

The program has raised concern from some policyholders, however, given that many of the "takeout" companies are untested and have been criticized by some ratings experts as being undercapitalized. Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has insisted that all the companies approved for takeout are financially strong and have adequate reserves.

Approved for taking Citizens' policies in the latest round are: Anchor Property & Casualty Insurance; Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance; Cypress Property & Casualty Insurance; Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance; Mount Beacon Insurance; Prepared Insurance; Security First Insurance; Southern Oak Insurance, and United Property & Casualty Insurance.

Policyholders may opt to stay with Citizens if they object to their takeout offer in writing.

The insurers can begin assuming policies starting Jan. 13 for personal policies and Jan. 6 for commercial policies, marking the first takeouts approved for 2015.

McCarty's office has approved more than 1.1 million policies for removal from Citizens this year, and 127,550 policies have been taken out.