Citizens expects to surpass depopulation goals, transferring more than 400,000 policies to private insurers

by | Jun 19, 2024

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. expects to exceed its 2024 depopulation goals, reducing its policy count below one million and transferring over 400,000 policies to private insurers.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is set to exceed its initial depopulation projections for 2024, with the policy count expected to drop below one million by year’s end, marking an increase from the earlier target of reducing 360,000 policies, now revised to more than 400,000.

At Wednesday’s Board of Governors meeting, Citizens officials highlighted the impact of legislative reforms, particularly Senate Bill 2A, which has significantly lowered litigation rates. The percentage of claims leading to litigation has dropped from 50 percent in 2015 to around 10 percent in 2023, making the private insurance market more competitive.

These reforms, they said, have facilitated the transfer of policies from Citizens to private insurers, central to the insurer’s depopulation strategy. By reducing its policy count, Citizens aims to decrease its risk exposure and enhance financial stability, protecting all Florida insurance customers from potential surcharges if Citizens cannot cover claims after a disaster.

“We’ve increased the depopulation number from 360,000 to over 400,000, so hopefully October, November, and December, will be very active,” an aide of Citizens CEO Tim Cerio said. “That’s the expectation.”

Upon outreach, The Capitolist learned that so far in 2024, 114,709 Citizens policyholders were assumed by private insurance companies approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to participate in Citizens’ Depopulation Program. Citizen’s spokesperson Michael Peltier stated that the offloading of policies has reduced Citizens’ exposure by $55.6 billion.

“We expect continued interest later this year,” he said. “Depopulation interest generally slows down during hurricane season.”

To address depopulation, private insurers are seeking regulatory approval to acquire a specified number of Citizens policies. The influx of policies into Citizens in recent years has allowed private insurers to identify and select policies they deem to be favorable risks.

The insurance market in Florida is rebounding as private insurers have taken on 390,000 policies from Citizens  over the last two years.


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