October 22nd, 2013 categories: Real Estate News
Several people in our Broadwater waterfront neighborhood of St Petersburg have been calling to say that Citizens Property Insurance dropped them and wondered what to do. We, too,received a notice from a new insurance company saying they were taking over our policy. We're referring here to general homeowner's insurance, not flood insurance.
Some people don't realize that they still have an option. They can decline the switch and stay with Citizens. That's what we decided to do. To be safe, we notified the new company by both email and regular mail that we were opting to stay with Citizens. We had to sign a notice that we knew our premiums might be higher and that our coverage may be lower if we stayed with Citizens.
In the past, some of the companies taking policies from Citizens have not been financially sound. Admittedly, I didn't check out the financial stability of this particular company. I decided that the devil I know is better than the devilI don't.
If you received a notice that an insurance company is taking you out of Citizens for your home here in St Pete – I'm not telling you what to do, only what I did. The point is, you do have a choice!
p.s. I hope Florida will opt out of the National Flood Insurance and if private insurance companies don't come forward, that Florida will set up a Citizens-like flood insurance. Florida has paid in over $16 billion in premiums and received less than $4 billion in claims. To now face some premium jumps to ten times the amount of past annual premium is incredible. People who own their home free and clear can opt out of flood insurance and self insure. Those with a mortgage cannot. So you choose to buy in a non-flood zone? You have no guarantee that when the flood maps are redrawn that you will not then be in a flood zone.