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Comprehensive Review of Citizens Property Insurance
Established by the Florida legislature in 2002, Citizens Property Insurance initially aimed to provide a safety net for homeowners struggling to secure coverage in the private market. Over the years, it has evolved into Florida’s largest insurer, catering to the needs of many homeowners in the state amidst market challenges such as inflation, hurricanes, and litigation.
Eligibility and Coverage For Citizens Property Insurance
Citizens Property Insurance serves as a fallback option for homeowners unable to obtain coverage in the private market or facing prohibitively high premiums elsewhere. While it may offer competitive rates, potential drawbacks include limited coverage options compared to private insurers. Despite this, for many Floridians, Citizens remains the best or only viable option for securing homeowners insurance.
For Citizens Insurance policies in most Florida counties, the maximum coverage for your home’s structure must be under $700,000 by law. However, in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, this limit is raised to under $1 million. If the cost to rebuild your home exceeds these amounts, you’ll probably need to look for insurance from another provider.
Citizens also imposes strict limits on other types of coverage. For instance, their policies only offer $100,000 in personal liability coverage, and there’s no option to increase this amount. Unlike some other insurers, Citizens doesn’t include coverage for incidents like dog bites or other animal-related claims.
Additionally, Citizens limits coverage for jewelry to $1,000, and there’s no choice but to raise this limit. If you have valuable jewelry exceeding this amount, you might want to consider getting separate jewelry insurance. Unlike many other home insurance policies that cover belongings worldwide, citizens won’t be reimbursed for stolen items unless they were taken from your home.
- Catastrophic ground cover collapse.
- Debris removal.
- Losses due to counterfeit money, forgery or the unauthorized use of credit cards.
- Upgrading your home to meet current building codes after a covered claim.
- Trees, shrubs and plants.
- Charges for the services of a fire department.
- Fungi, wet or dry rot, yeast or bacteria.
Discounts and Consumer Experience
Citizens offers various discounts to homeowners, including incentives for installing safety features and ensuring compliance with building codes. Despite these offerings, the company has received a higher-than-expected number of consumer complaints relative to its size, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Depending on where you live and the kind of home you have, you may be able to save on your Citizens homeowners insurance premium by:
- Installing a centrally monitored fire or burglar alarm.
- Protecting your home from wind damage with hurricane shutters, a hip roof or impact-resistant windows and doors.
- Insuring a relatively new home that’s compliant with recent Florida building codes.
- Having a roof with certain construction features.
To get these discounts, you may need to provide documentation or have your home inspected.
Customer Service and Accessibility For Citizens Property Insurance
Citizens prioritize customer service by offering online resources, claim filing options, and customer support via phone and live chat. The company’s website, including the myPolicy self-service portal, facilitates easy access to policy documents, claims tracking, and billing management.
State Availability and Final Considerations
It’s essential to note that Citizens homeowners insurance policies are only available in Florida. While it may be the only option for some homeowners, those with houses exceeding certain value thresholds may need to seek insurance elsewhere for adequate coverage.
In summary, Citizens Property Insurance plays a crucial role in providing homeowners insurance solutions to many Floridians. While it may have limitations compared to private insurers, its competitive rates, additional coverage options, and commitment to customer service make it a viable choice for those in need of reliable home insurance in the state. However, prospective policyholders should carefully weigh their options and consider their specific needs before making a decision.