Citizens Insurance to slash 678,000 policyholders

Citizens says it wants to go back to being "Insurer of last resort"

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Is your home insured by state-backed Citizens Property Insurance? If so -- beware you could soon be dropped -- or see your rates double.

Citizens, which was founded by the state after numerous private companies left Florida after the 2004 hurricanes, says it wants to return to its mission of being the insurer of last report.

To do that, Citizens leaders tell The Miami Herald they plan to drop about 678,000 homes and businesses by 2014, about 45 percent of its policies.

Citizens  also started re-evaluating discounts home owners get for upgrades aimed at cutting down on hurricane damage.

Effective Wednesday:

  •  Homeowners who need to join Citizens will have to submit written proof no private insurer can provide affordable coverage
  •   Coverage for carports, screened enclosures and fences will end at renewal.
  • The personal liability coverage limit will decline from $300,000 to $100,000.

Citizens is also seeking approval from its board of governors to:

  • Uncap rates for new policies until they are 50 percent more than existing customers pay.
  • Require new electrical and plumbing inspections for older homes.
  • Require new inspections and likely higher premiums in sinkhole-prone counties.
  • Increase deductibles for "all other perils" coverage.