Florida Citizens Depopulation Program Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on a question below for more information.
Citizens is a not-for-profit government corporation which was created to provide insurance for Florida homeowners who could not obtain affordable homeowners insurance through the private market. In the event Citizens incurs a deficit, it is statutorily authorized to levy an assessment on Florida’s property and casualty insurance policyholders. This could result in a Citizen’s assessment of up to 45% of your insurance premium. If a deficit remains after exhaustion of the Citizen’s assessment, virtually all Florida residents with property and casualty policies could face an assessment up to 18% of your premium. As a last resort, an additional emergency assessment will be levied on all Florida property and casualty policyholders until the there is no longer a deficit.
The Florida Legislature and Citizens feel it is necessary to reduce the amount of policies and exposure to avoid the need for assessments. Citizens is the largest property insurer with close to $500 billion dollars of exposure. The sheer volume of exposure could adversely affect all Florida homeowners if a catastrophic event were to take place.
This process benefits all Floridians by preventing or reducing the need for assessments charged to policyholders. As a result, Florida’s insurance market as a whole becomes more stable as private companies offer coverage for our state’s growing number of residents.
The Depopulation program was developed by Citizens with authorization from the Florida Legislature. The program was created to reduce the number of policies and exposure Citizens currently assumes and to encourage new as well as existing insurance companies to grow their Florida market share. Details of the program can be found in section 627.351(6) of the Florida Statutes. Companies that participate in the program assume Citizens’ policies and transfer them to the private insurance market. This process benefits all Floridians by preventing or reducing assessments charged to all property insurance consumers. As a result, Florida’s insurance market becomes healthier as private companies offer coverage for our state’s growing number of residents.
Takeouts and Assumptions are terms that refer to the Depopulation process in which a group of policies are transferred from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to a private insurer. This process is voluntary by the carrier and approved by the Florida Office of Insurance regulation prior to its execution.
A detailed application is submitted to the Office of Insurance Regulation and a thorough approval process begins. This process takes several months and includes an extensive review of financial stability, background investigations, operating and reinsurance plans, management experience and long-term market goals. Upon approval, a consent order is given to the carrier detailing the terms of the assumption.
The renewal offered by Heritage Insurance will be similar to the coverage afforded under the assumed Citizens’ policy. In many cases, Heritage’s policy coverage will be better than the coverage provided by Citizens upon renewal. The below chart explains some of the differences.
|Citizens Current Renewals
||Heritage P&C Renewals
|Coverage B default 2% of Coverage A||Coverage B optional to 10% of Coverage A|
|Coverage C default 25% of Coverage A||Coverage C optional to 50% of Coverage A|
|Personal Liability $100,000||Personal Liability optional to $300,000|
|Mandatory 10% Sinkhole Loss Deductible||Mandatory 10% Sinkhole Loss Deductible|
|Limited Fungi, Wet or Dry Rot, Yeast or Bacteria Coverage; Increased Limits are NOT available||Limited Fungi, Wet or Dry Rot, Yeast or Bacteria Coverage; Increased Limits available|
|Permitted Incidental Occupancies; Not allowed in Other Structures||Permitted Incidental Occupancies; Allowed in Other Structures|
|Loss Assessment Coverage; Increased Limits are NOT available||Loss Assessment Coverage; Increased Limits available|
|Cosmetic or Aesthetic Damage to Floors; Subject to a $10,000 limit for Coverage A, B and D||Cosmetic or Aesthetic Damage to Floors; Subject to a $10,000 limit for Coverage A, B and D|
|Structures Open to Air (Screened Enclosures, Cabanas etc.) NOT Covered||Structures Open to Air (Screened Enclosures, Cabanas etc.) NOT Covered|
The approximate schedule is as follows:
45 Days prior to the assumption
The Office of Insurance Regulation completes its review and approves Heritage Insurance to proceed with the Takeout.
35 Days prior to the assumption
Heritage Insurance selects its policies based on various factors which include our long-term business plan and underwriting requirements. The selection is submitted to Citizens for their review. A valid agency contract must be in place with Citizens in order to be eligible for Takeout.
30 Days prior to the assumption
Citizens returns the submitted policies to Heritage Insurance with a confirmation regarding eligible policies for assumption. Heritage Insurance notifies the servicing agencies regarding the assumption. This notice provides specific instructions on obtaining a list of the affected policies and their policy information. Heritage Insurance notifies the policyholder via mail regarding the proposed assumption and the options available to them. The Opt-out form is included in this notice.
Date of Assumption
Selected policies are process by Citizens to eliminate policies in pending cancel, cancelled, or non-renewal status. These policies are not eligible for assumption and are returned back to the Citizens’ pool. Eligible policies are tagged in ePAS which is noted in the upper right corner of the policy screen. Assumption details will be provided in the tag. Citizens mails the assumption letter and notice of non-renewal to the policyholder and emails a list of assumed policies to each Agency involved.
30 Days after the Assumption
Citizens removes any policy from the assumption, if instructed by the policyholder by the specified date. The opt-out form, dates and requirements are provided in the notice mailed to the policyholder, along with additional information regarding the assumption. The policyholder receives approximately 30 additional days to Opt-out after receipt of the Citizens’ notice. Opt-out forms can be returned via: Fax: (866) 929-4530 Email: Endorsements@heritagepci.com
*Opt out forms may not be submitted to Citizens
a. If the policyholder has submitted the opt-out form prior to the assumption date, Citizens will not mail an Assumption Letter and no further correspondence regarding the assumption will be sent.
b. If the policyholder opted out after the assumption date, but within the second deadline provided by Citizens, an Opt-Out confirmation letter will be sent. This letter confirms that Citizens is maintaining the policy and the Heritage Insurance renewal has been withdrawn.
c. If the policyholder opted out after all required deadlines, Citizens sends an email notice to the agent, advising that the opt-out was received after the deadlines provided.
Copies of Heritage Insurance notices can be found on our website. Citizens also provides copies on their website, as well as in the policy record in the ePAS system.
If there are any questions or concerns regarding receipt of an opt-out letter, please contact our Customer Service Department at (855) 620-9978.
If a policyholder chooses to accept the assumption by Heritage Insurance no action is required. The policy will transfer upon renewal.
Unless the policies violate an underwriting rule of the company, other than reduction of hurricane exposure, Heritage Insurance has agreed to renew policies for up to (3) years after the date of assumption. Keep in mind, policies are selected based on criteria provided by Citizens. If the actual property is found to differ from the criteria provided, or if a substantial change in risk has occurred, we will communicate with the policyholder and agent regarding any action to be taken.
All policies are serviced by Citizens until the policy expiration date. All premium payments, underwriting questions, and changes to the policy should be directed to Citizens until the policy renews with Heritage Insurance.
If the date of loss occurs on or after the assumption date, Heritage Insurance will handle the claim. Please contact our Claims Department at (855) 415-7120.
*All claims prior to the assumption date should be directed to Citizens.
Please ensure the policy number is legible and correct. Include the agency’s contact information in case we have any questions.
Please print and sign our opt out form for the appropriate time period and mail it to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
- November 5th Opt Out Form
- December 10th Opt Out Form
- January 7th 2014 Opt Out Form
- February 4th 2014 Opt Out Form
- March 18th 2014 Opt Out Form
- August 19th 2014 Opt Out Form
- October 21st 2014 Opt Out Form
- November 18th 2014 Opt Out Form
- December 16th 2014 Opt Out Form
- January 13th 2015 Opt Out Form
- February 17th 2015 Opt Out Form
- March 24th 2015 Opt Out Form
- April 28th 2015 Opt Out Form
- May 26th 2015 Opt Out Form
- July 21st 2015 Opt Out Form
- September 22nd 2015 Opt Out Form
- October 27th 2015 Opt Out Form
- November 24th 2015 Opt Out Form
- December 22nd 2015 Opt Out Form
- January 19th 2016 Opt Out Form
- February 23rd 2016 Opt Out Form
- March 22nd 2016 Opt Out Form
- April 19th 2016 Opt Out Form
- May 24th 2016 Opt Out Form