January 27, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - "Today is a big day for us, it's the launch of our Property Insurance Clearinghouse," said Michael Peltier, Spokesman for Citizens Property Insurance.
Citizens Property Insurance, Florida's state run and largest insurance company is now shifting homeowners insurance policies over to private companies. It's called the Property Insurance Clearinghouse and it will require insurance agencies to explore other options first. "New policy holders will go to their agents and their agents will shop their policies through the computer based clearinghouse," said Peltier.
Citizens said if private offers are available within 15% of what the premium is for the Citizens policy then the client would be ineligible for Citizens Insurance. Insurance companies across the state have been busy preparing for the change. "It didn't look too terribly hard I thought you know as soon as the date opened up and and you know the date is here," said Audrey Mosel, Representative for a State Farm Agent in Florida.
In 2012 Citizens had one and a half million policies, now Citizens says they're down to a million. They said the shift will give folks more options in an increasingly competitive market. Citizens said they will still be available as a last resort. "The Clearinghouse is going to insure that Citizens Policies are going to be available to people who can not find comparable coverage in the private market," said Peltier.
There are four companies signed on for this first wave of changes:
Cabrillo (Safe Harbor)
United Property & Casualty
As we move into hurricane season 15 more companies will be part of the Property Insurance Clearinghouse by July.
If you have questions about the new Citizens Property Insurance Clearinghouse you can visit the Citizens website at www.citizensfla.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's largest insurer is launching a new program to shift policies over to other companies.
The state-created Citizens Property Insurance on Monday will start requiring new customers to use a property insurance clearinghouse.
The program requires insurance agents to look at offers from four private insurers before allowing someone to purchase a Citizens policy.
A customer is ineligible for Citizens if one of the insurers charges premiums that are within 15 percent of Citizens rates.
State legislators authorized the clearinghouse to help reduce the number of people insured by Citizens. Citizens has more than 1 million policyholders.
Other insurers will be added to the clearinghouse later this year. Citizens plans by the middle of 2014 to require that current customers go through the clearinghouse before their policies are renewed.