Experts in coverage and in real estate are saying that the homes along the coast could see major changes.
According to the homeowners insurance and real estate communities, the reforms to Citizens that have occurred in Florida will have a sizeable impact on the homes located along the southern coast of the state.
The legislature has now approved changes that have been designed to reduce the insurer’s enrollment.
The reason that Citizens is hoping to considerably reduce the number of people it serves is that its current size makes it exceptionally vulnerable to the impact of a major storm. The company still has a limit of 10 percent to the hikes that it can make to its premiums every year. However, when it comes to new customers, they would be required to first go through a homeowners insurance “clearinghouse” before they would be permitted to choose Citizens.
This will cause a considerable change to the homeowners insurance ecosystem in the state.
It has been estimated that the homeowners insurance rates will rise over time because the customers within the clearinghouse would be required to select private coverage if it could be found at a rate that is within 15 percent of what the equivalent Citizens policy would cost. According to experts in the industry, this will likely cause prices to climb and then eventually settle to where they will be actuarially sound.
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The result is that it could be more costly at first to those in the highest risk areas of Florida, but that it could eventually draw a larger number of private homeowners insurance companies back into the state. Following the passing of the reforms for Citizens, the company’s shares rose to the highest point that they have reached in a year.
That said, there are many who are concerned about the new limits reductions that have been applied to Citizens policies. The maximum coverage will now be reduced to $1 million, which is half of what it is currently. This will continue to decrease over a period of three years until it reaches a maximum limit of $700,000. Some feel that this change to the homeowners insurance coverage has very poor timing and that it will make it even harder for the struggling South Florida real estate market.