Citizens Clearinghouse Launching in Late January
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation anticipates launching its clearinghouse on January 27, 2014, instead of January 2 as originally intended. Speaking before the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, Citizens president Barry Gilway said that moving the date back “gives us the opportunity to conduct far more user-acceptance testing, and, with a much more degree of confidence when we launch this system, that it will operate as advertised.”
The legislature adopted the clearinghouse in the 2013 legislative session. The clearinghouse will seek to match Citizens’ applicants and existing policyholders with interested private market insurers according those insurers’ underwriting criteria. Applicants who receive offers of coverage within 15 percent of the Citizens premiums will not be eligible for Citizens policies. For renewal business, policyholders will not be able to remain in Citizens if they receive offers of coverage at or below the Citizens rates. The system is not scheduled to become operational for renewal business until July 1.
Gilway mentioned that due to the three-week delay in implementation, the number of participating insurers is expected to grow from three to seven.
Meanwhile, Citizens’ policy count continues to decline due to depopulation activity and improved private market writings. Citizens policy count remains just over 1 million, which is down from its peak of more than 1.4 million. Citizens expects its policy count to drop to about 925,000 by next hurricane season.