|January 24, 2014|
Previously published on January 22, 2014
To facilitate its return to being Florida's "insurer of last resort," Citizens Property Insurance Corporation ("Citizens") will launch its Property Insurance Clearinghouse ("Clearinghouse") on Monday, January 27, 2014.
On that day, four private insurers will begin offering policies through the Clearinghouse system. They are:
- Ark Royal
- Florida Peninsula
- Safe Harbor
- United Property & Casualty
Over the next five months, additional participating private-market insurers will be added to the list of approved Florida companies able to offer property insurance to Citizens applicants.
The Clearinghouse, which is designed to assist in matching homeowners with private insurers willing to write comparable polices at competitive rates, is intended to help Citizens reduce its exposure, as well as Floridians' risk of policyholder assessments, which can be as high as 45 percent in a single year.
"The Clearinghouse offers dual benefits of helping homeowners find better coverage at comparable rates and reducing Citizens' exposure," said Chris Gardner, Chairman of Citizens' Board of Governors. "We're excited by the promise this initiative holds for helping to lower assessment risks for all Floridians."
Starting on January 27, when a homeowner seeks new property coverage with Citizens, his or her Citizens-appointed agent will enter the property information into the Clearinghouse system, which will then seek offers of coverage from participating private-market companies. If a participating company offers a policy at a premium that falls within 15 percent of Citizens' premium for comparable coverage, the applicant will be ineligible for Citizens coverage. The homeowner will be given a list of all private offers extended through the Clearinghouse and, in most cases, his or her agent will be able to bind coverage with the chosen company.
Renewal policyholders will only be ineligible to renew with Citizens if an offer for comparable coverage is received with a premium that is equal to or less than their Citizens renewal premium.
In an effort to ensure a smooth rollout, the Clearinghouse initially will focus on new homeowners (HO-3) policies. By mid-2014, current Citizens residential customers also should have their policies "shopped" through the Clearinghouse prior to renewal.
Bolt Solutions, Inc. is providing the Clearinghouse software platform.
"I want to thank all those involved in this monumental effort," said Barry Gilway, Citizens President, CEO and Executive Director. "I'm confident their hard work will benefit consumers, Citizens and the people of Florida."