The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance has advanced Senate Bill 1106, which proposes to raise the eligibility threshold for coverage by Citizens Property Insurance to $1 million for residential structures and single condominium units, introduces new rate requirements, and mandates higher financial standards for insurers covering high-risk properties.
The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance advanced Senate Bill 1106 on Monday, which revises the criteria for residential structures and single condominium units to be eligible for coverage with Citizens Property Insurance.
The deliberated legislation proposes an increase in the eligibility threshold for residential structures and single condominium units to receive coverage under Citizens. If adopted, such properties would be eligible for coverage if their dwelling replacement cost is less than $1 million — an increase from the current $700,000 cap. Additionally, for properties valued between $700,000 and $1 million, the bill stipulates that Citizens may not offer these policies if a property is offered comparable coverage from an authorized insurer at the insurer’s approved rate under a standard policy including wind coverage.
The measure also introduces new rate requirements, including a surcharge of $2,500, or 25 percent, of the policy rate — whichever is lesser — for higher-value homes. Rates would also no longer be subject to Citizens’ “rate glidepath,” which typically caps annual rate increases.
“The bill is anticipated to benefit homeowners who are able to obtain coverage from Citizens under the newly authorized coverage,” reads a staff legislative analysis. “These are homeowners that are currently unable to obtain coverage in the admitted market and coverage from Citizens had been unavailable. Such homeowners have been required to turn to the non-admitted market or go without coverage.”
A secondary provision of the legislation outlines that for surplus lines of coverage, insurers who specialize in covering high-risk properties must hold an A-rating or higher from AM Best, which would help ensure the insurers hold a strong financial foundation and are capable of fulfilling their policy obligations.
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is a state-created entity that provides property insurance to Floridians who cannot find affordable coverage in the private market. As of November 2023, Citizens has over 1.26 million policies in force, covering a total exposure of $562.5 billion.