|Important Changes To Citizens Property Insurance Policies!
If you have a home in Florida that has an insured replacement value over $1M, it’s important to know that your options for insurance in the Florida marketplace are now extremely limited. Consult with your advisor prior to making any changes to your current Florida policies. If you receive a notice that your policy is affected by this 01/01/13 change, contact your advisor as soon as possible.
Citizens Property Insurance was formed approximately 10 years ago, backed by the state of Florida. It was intended to be Florida’s property insurance carrier of last resort. Many carriers in Florida have left the marketplace and currently Citizens Property Insurance is the largest carrier in the state with over 1.4M policies in force.
The governor, along with Florida lawmakers, have recently made a push to limit the size of the carrier by reducing coverage on policies. Those changes include removing screened enclosure coverage and limiting the dwelling coverage amount to $1M (it was formerly $2M). These changes are slated for an effective date of 01/01/13.
In addition to the changes above, effective 05/01/12 for new business and 06/01/12 for renewal business, Citizens Property Insurance is capping the amount of liability coverage offered on their policies at $100,000 (it was previously $300,000).
Homeowners who have a personal umbrella policy need to be aware since most carriers require you carry at least $300,000 on your homeowner’s policy. If you only have $100,000 on your policy and your personal umbrella requires $300,000, you could end up with a gap in coverage of $200,000, which would come out of your own pocket!
An easy fix will be to extend liability from your primary home, which would have to have at least $300,000 liability coverage, to the Florida residence. Usually the charge to extend liability to another residence is nominal, around $25/year. It’s extremely important to alert the advisor who controls your personal umbrella policy of all changes to your Florida exposures – including autos, watercraft, ATV’s, etc.