Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was founded in 2002 – Citizens Property is a state ‘not-for-profit’ insurer that provides home insurance to citizens in hurricane areas of Florida and Louisiana. Home insurance is historically hard to obtain in the state of Florida, and many citizens are left without coverage. This is why the state decided to create a home insurance corporation that guarantees coverage to all Florida residents by providing coverage to residents who are left without insurance. Citizens Property is based out of Tallahassee, FL and it’s currently the largest insurer in the state of Florida.
Citizens Property has an equivalent branch in Louisiana, but the Citizens based out of Florida is the largest insurer in the South Eastern U.S. This corporation is tax-exempt and it serves a public purpose of providing insurance protection throughout the state. Citizens Property Insurance is used by people as a last resort if they run out of insurance opportunities, but it’s occasionally used by wealthier residents as well.
Citizens offers numerous insurance packages for homeowners and condominium owners across the state. There are also options such as all-around property coverage and casualty insurance. Policyholders can lower their premiums by upgrading their home security and installing burglar alarms or safety features such as wind-mitigation equipment.
The company is different to other insurers in the state of Florida as it’s a non-profit, and it caters to Spanish speakers as well. There are pre-made plans available online, but to get a quote one has to contact the locally assigned agents.
Citizens Property Insurance provides coverage for the following:
- Rented homes
- Condo units
- Mobile homes
- Commercial properties
Citizens specializes in providing coverage for areas the private insurance market doesn’t cover – such as mobile homes and condominium units.
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Citizens Property Plans
There are 2 tiers of plans the corporations offer:
- Personal policies: For homeowners who own property: house, condo unit, mobile home, etc.
- Commercial policies: For owners who own a condominium building or a commercial property.
The Personal Policy is the most sought-after policy, as it caters to the average Florida resident. There are two protective options available: Regular protection and “wind-only” protection. The regular protection policy provides coverage against man-made disasters (fires, electric breakdowns, etc) and natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, etc) alike. The wind-only policy is for people who only want protection from hurricanes and tropical storms.
The coverage is for all standard residences, including residences the private insurance market doesn’t cover.
HO-3 Policy (For Homeowners)
The most popular policy by Citizens, the standard HO-3 plan, provides coverage for all detached single-family homes in the state of Florida. The plan is only available to homeowners who currently reside in their property as their #1 residence, and not second homes or rental units. The standard HO-3 covers the entire home, the attached structures, all personal property on the inside including additional living expenses in case the owner has to move out for repairs. The plan also includes personal liability in case the homeowner is hurt during a disaster.
HO-6 Policy (For Condo Unit Owners)
The HO-6 policy is for condominium unit owners, which make up a significant portion of the Florida population. This policy covers the interior of the condo unit, the personal belongings of the insured person as well as additional expenses/liabilities. It does not, however, cover the exterior of the building.
MHO-3/MW-3 Policy (For Mobile Homeowners)
Citizens offers 2 policy options for mobile homeowners, and the MHO-3 provides coverage for the entire mobile home, other structures if it’s located on a single piece of land permanently and the owner’s personal belongings including liability. The coverage plan is similar to standard HO-3 insurance.
Dwelling Fire Policies (For Renters)
Dwelling fire policies, most notably DP-3, DW-2 and DP-1 caters to tenant-occupied properties/renters who don’t currently qualify for HO-3 policies as they’re not the owner of the property. These policies cover all damages to the dwelling, other structures located on the property, personal property and loss of rent.
Citizens Property offers few commercial options in order to cater to business owners, homeowner associations and real estate investors.
The commercial plans offer coverage for the following:
- Apartment buildings
- Condo associations
- Retirement homes
- Homeowner associations (including buildings they own)
Most commercial plans are multi-peril (offers protection against 12 perils) but some wind-only options are available too.
The reviews are a mixed bag and overall neutral-negative. The reason for negative reviews is because the corporation has a monopoly on huge parts of the state of Florida, and they can charge high premiums; while they’re simultaneously a Federal-funded corporation and their task is to spend as little as possible, offering usually late and low payouts for claims. If this is something you can bear then you should apply with them at your own risk.