Citizens Clearinghouse Launches
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation launches its clearinghouse for new business today. The 2013 Florida legislature authorized the clearinghouse as a method of reducing the inflow of new business into Citizens when private market insurers are willing to write the policies. The clearinghouse is only available for new business entering Citizens but later this year is expected to become available for Citizens’ renewal policies.
The clearinghouse allows interested insurers to provide Citizens with a profile of policies they are interested in writing. The clearinghouse then will make policies meeting the profiles available to the participating insurers for underwriting review. If a private market insurer offers coverage that is no more than 15% higher than the Citizens rate, the policyholder is ineligible for Citizens. If a private market insurer does not offer coverage or if the coverage is more than 15% higher than the Citizens premium, the policyholder remains eligible for Citizens coverage.
Four insurers are participating in the clearinghouse at its outset– Ark Royal, Florida Peninsula, Safe Harbor, and United Property & Casualty.
Citizens chairman Chris Gardner commented that the clearinhouse is a win for all parties involved. For insurance purchasers, the clearinghouse provides more information and potential opportunities to obtain coverage on better terms or a a lower cost. For the public at large, reducing the number of policies entering Citizens lowers the eventual assessment burden, and for insurers interested in partcipating, the clearinghouse provides an opportunity for them to expand their businesses.