Why is Citizens increasing Florida home inspections?

10 Nov
Citizens Property Insurance Florida

Citizens Property Insurance Company, the property insurer of last resort in Florida is planning to make substantial eligibility and underwriting changes that will likely result in increased property inspections over the next four years. Citizens is hoping to shed policies and reduce its exposure level in the Florida property market.

Citizens is hoping the new changes will reduce its Florida homeowners insurance exposure by reducing the number of properties it covers. Citizens plans to boost the number of property inspections it does by 70 percent over the next four years, an effort that will cost $43 million, but they feel it will result in savings over the long run.

Increased inspections, combined with changes to eligibility rules is expected to make more properties ineligible for coverage if the inspection determines the home is unsafe. Citizens have become one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the state as private insurance companies have pulled out of at-risk areas. 

Inspections will be carried out by both Citizens and private inspection firms hired by the insurer. Local and state government inspection report copies will be required. The new regulations for eligibility and underwriting for both new and renewing policies will go into effect on October 15, 2021. 

This is a major change for Citizens, prior to the changes, Citizens only inspected about 1 percent of the properties they are insuring, they are hoping to bump that number up to 9 percent by the year 2025.

Citizen’s goal of the increased inspections is to force policyholders to either upgrade their homes to an acceptable level or pay a higher premium to properly cover their home.

“We’ve lagged behind the private market in inspection levels, and this will correct that,” said Florida homeowners insurance media relations manager at Citizens, Michael Peltier in a recent press release.

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