Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is a state run property insurer serving the State of Florida. The corporation was created to provide insurance to those in Florida who could not obtain a policy from a private insurance company. There have been many changes within the company over the last couple of years, including a major scaling back achieved by shifting policies to private insurers operating in the state, in order to reduce the risk to taxpayers should a catastrophic weather event cause a tidal wave of claims. Another change was the proposal of a managed repair program.
In 2015, Citizens proposed that it would implement a managed repair system, which would require policyholders to use only pre-approved contractors for repairs covered by insurance payouts. This would curb the problem created by fraudulent activity committed by certain third-party contractors. The program would operate as follows: the policyholder would notify Citizens of the event that caused property damage. The insurer would then be responsible for inspection and emergency measures needed to reduce future damage. The insurer would then provide the policyholder with a list of pre-approved contractors off of which they could choose one to repair the damage caused to their property. The incentive to enter into the program would be discounted premiums and/or deductibles. Citizens went as far as negotiating with a repair management service and toying with the idea of making the program mandatory.
Recently, the company has rethought its approach. They have decided to limit the program to damage caused by “accidental discharge of a plumbing system.” Also, instead of making the program mandatory, they have decided to make it extremely attractive to customers and hope to generate enough interest in this way. They have also decided to pay only for emergency measures instead of offering discounts to customers.
The new development has left those in the industry asking the obvious question. That is, is this the future of property insurance?
If you have a property insurance issue you should speak to a qualified attorney right away to ensure that your rights are preserved.