- Two insurers, Slide Insurance Co. and Loggerhead Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange, have been approved to take up to 26,000 policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
- Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has experienced significant growth as private insurers have dropped customers and raised rates, leading state leaders to seek policy transfers to the private market.
- The state Office of Insurance Regulation last week authorized $1.25 billion in credit lines for Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to help pay claims and expenses for personal lines accounts during the upcoming hurricane season.
State regulators have approved proposals by two insurers to take as many as 26,000 policies from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky last week signed orders that would allow Slide Insurance Co. to take as many as 25,000 policies from Citizens starting in August and Loggerhead Reciprocal Interinsurance Exchange to take as many as 1,000 policies.
Citizens has seen explosive growth during the past two years as private insurers have dropped customers, raised rates and, in some cases, gone insolvent because of financial problems. Citizens had 1.3 million policies as of May 26.
Many state leaders have long sought to move policies from Citizens into the private market, in part because of financial risks if Florida is hit by major hurricanes. Under a law passed in December, Citizens policyholders will be required to accept offers of coverage from private insurers if the offers are within 20 percent of the cost of Citizens premiums. Lawmakers approved that change because Citizens often charges less than private insurers.
Ahead of Florida’s hurricane season, the state Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has authorized a request for $1.25 billion in credit lines for the state-backed Citizen’s Property Insurance Corporation. The order, signed by Yaworsky, grants $750 million in credit with Bank of America and $500 million with Wells Fargo.
According to the authorization, Citizens will be permitted to use the money, if needed, to help pay claims and expenses for personal lines accounts through a Revolving Credit Agreement, which includes homeowners’ policies.
As part of the authorization, the OIR is requiring Citizens to provide the state with quarterly updates on amounts borrowed, amounts used to settle claims and associated costs, amounts repaid, and amounts expected to be levied for debt repayment.
“The purpose of the lines of credit is to provide the personal lines account with needed liquidity in preparation for the 2023 hurricane season,” reads the order. “As a result, the Lines of Credit will enable Citizens to efficiently meet its financial obligations.”
Further, the Citizens Board of Governors earlier this year internally sanctioned a proposal that grants organizational leaders the opportunity to petition the OIR for authorization to implement a 14.2 percent hike in insurance expenses.
According to the group, the recommended rates for 2023 call for a statewide average increase on all personal lines policies including homes, condominium units, dwellings, renters, and mobile homes due to inflation in the construction market.
Specifically, homeowner policy rates would increase by an average of 13.9 percent while condo owners would see an average 14.6 percent increase. If approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation, the 2023 rates would go into effect for new and renewal personal residential policies beginning November 1.