WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new round of buyout offers for Citizens Property Insurance policyholders were approved on Halloween and will begin in January.
The orders from Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky clear the way for 125,000 Citizens policyholders to receive the offers.
This latest round marks the fourth straight month of significant buyout offers to try and reduce the number of Citizens policies, currently at 1.4 million and adding about 30,000 policies a month.
“What it shows is that private insurers want to take on Citizens policies,” Mark Friedlander, of the Insurance Information Institute, said. “That’s a really good news sign for Florida’s market.”
The approvals are for 75,00 policies for Slide, 30,000 for Florida Peninsula, 10,000 for Edison and 10,000 for US Coastal.
“Citizens’ goal is to get this down to a manageable level and that means offloading nearly a million policies,” Friedlander said. “They’ve got a long way to go.”
Estimates are about a third of the buyout offers in October, roughly 100,000 policies, were moved to private insurers.
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Most of the October buyouts were within the guidelines set by the state of being within 20% of the Citizens premiums.
This time there is a new rule that will not allow any outrageous offers to leave Citizens.
“We were told, through numerous sources, 40% is the new cap that is required for any company participating,” Friedlander said.
Any offers over 20% of the Citizens premium can still be rejected by policyholders, but they must reply to keep their Citizens policy.