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Citizens Closer to Dropping Below a Million Policies

marsmettn tallahassee via Flickr

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is steadily shifting its policyholders over to private companies. Citizens is Florida's insurance company of last resort. More private insurers have been approved to take 150,000 policies from Citizens in February.

Over the next few months, Citizens is on track to have less than a million policies for the first time since 2006. The state-backed insurer provides coverage for property owners who can’t get insurance anywhere else.Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier says more private carriers are now agreeing to take on those risky properties.

“The private market has indeed improved," Peltier said. "It’s become more vigorous, and that has helped Citizens reduce its policy count.”

The company is trying to reduce its own risk by coaxing more insurers into Florida.

“Citizens, too, is on a path of realigning its premiums with those of the private market," Peltier said. "That also makes policies more attractive to private carriers, helping to reduce Citizens’ exposure.”

The company is phasing in a plan to get down to 800,000 policies. Eventually, all new applicants will have to shop for - and accept - private coverage if the premiums cost within 15% of what Citizens charges.