The policy count goes down for Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance

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©2024 The News Service of Florida

The state’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. had a nearly 13,000-customer decrease last week as private insurers could take policies through what is known as a “depopulation” program.

Citizens had 1,188,557 policies as of Friday, down from 1,201,536 policies a week earlier and 1,196,736 two weeks earlier.

The decrease coincided with three private insurers — Slide Insurance Co., Security First Insurance Co. and American Integrity Insurance Co. of Florida — being able to assume policies from Citizens last week.

Under the depopulation program, private insurers receive approval from state regulators to take batches of Citizens policies.

Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has become the state’s largest carrier in recent years as private companies dropped policies and raised rates because of financial problems.

Citizens reached as many as 1.412 million policies in fall 2023 before seeing reductions because of the depopulation program.

State leaders have long sought to reduce the size of Citizens, at least in part, because of financial risks if Florida gets hit by a major hurricane or multiple hurricanes.

But policy takeouts are not expected in the coming months as insurers stay away from additional risks during hurricane season, which will start Saturday.

“The likelihood of depopulation in midstream of hurricane season has become very unlikely,”

Citizens Board of Governors Chairman Carlos Beruff said during a May 14 meeting.

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