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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….Sun Sentinel: “Citizens Insurance reverses decision to drop past-due policies on Aug. 15”

7/27/2020

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 27, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….
Sun Sentinel: “Citizens Insurance reverses decision to drop past-due policies on Aug. 15”

“Citizens Insurance reverses decision to drop past-due policies on Aug. 15”
Sun Sentinel
Ron Hurtibise 
July 25, 2020
For Full Story Click HERE
 
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has reversed its decision to resume canceling homeowner insurance policies of customers who haven’t been able to pay their bills because of COVID-19-related hardships.

The company recently announced in a letter to agents and customers that it would resume canceling and nonrenewing policies with past-due accounts on Aug. 15.
 
But after that news was reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Thursday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released a statement late Friday urging the company to continue the moratorium it put in place on March 17 at the urging of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
 
As of July 17, 13,063 Citizens policies were past due, representing about 3% of Citizens’ 481,000 policies and 7.5% of bills due, according to the company. They include 8,107 whose policies were renewed with no down payment since March, leaving customers owing hundreds if not thousands of past-due dollars.
 
On Saturday, Citizens released a statement saying the moratorium would be extended to the end of the year. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said the decision followed discussions with Bo Rivard, the chairman of its board of governors.
 
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be our policyholders,” Gilway said. “This extension will provide our customers with further assurances that we have their backs during hurricane season and beyond. I thank CFO Patronis and Chairman Rivard for their input and support.”
 
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Nevertheless, concerns linger among insurance agents about homeowners’ abilities to maintain coverage as a surge in infections coincides with the worst part of the hurricane season.

After Citizens first announced that it would begin dropping policies, some agents voiced concerns that continued high rates of unemployment will prevent many of those homeowners from resuming making payments next month.
 
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Patronis’ statement late Friday afternoon urging Citizens to reconsider said customers should not face loss of their policies in the midst of two crises.

“Hurricane season is just beginning to heat up and we are in the middle of an unprecedented health and economic crisis,” the statement said. “This is not the time to cancel Citizens’ home insurance policies. Citizens is the state-created insurer of last resort.”

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Patronis said that while policyholders must still pay what they owe, “canceling their policies during hurricane season should not be an option.”

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).