Citizens Property Insurance Policy Changes
The Florida Legislature and Insurance Companies are less concerned about the cost and stress for homeowners in Florida to repair their homes after wrongful denials of claims and more concerned about their bottom dollar.
Citizens Property Insurance Company, Florida's "insurer of last resort," has experienced a seventy-five percent policyholder increase over the past two years. With insurance companies leaving Florida and many insurers refusing to take on new customers, it has left many Floridians with no option other than to be insured by Citizens.
Citizens recently began including language in its policies that they have boastfully claimed has led to a reduction in litigation costs for them. Policy language for many homeowners now includes a cap on non-weather related water damage of $10,000. While this may have reduced the amount recoverable and thus reduced Citizens' legal costs, this has likely impacted a number of homeowners negatively.
Non-weather related water damage may include water damage caused by a pipe burst, the unexpected events homeowners typically rely on insurance for. Water damage can quickly exceed $10,000, even in smaller homes, as the resulting mitigation and repairs will involve replacing drywall, flooring, and electrical fixtures, and more.
While Citizens' litigation costs may have decreased, homeowners out-of-pocket repair bills are likely to increase, thus negating the purpose of carrying insurance in the first place. All this, while homeowner's are expected to pay severely inflated premiums for worse coverage than they have ever had.
It's time the Florida legislature start considering the actual homeowners' needs, rather than the corporate paycheck.
This article is not intended to be legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.