Home-owners in Florida now have other options besides Citizens for home-owners insurance. After taking several home owners classes, I’ve come to the conclusion that finding home insurance in Florida has always been a difficult task. The word Citizen Insurance is mumbled around the class because it is the one home-owners insurance that everyone knows everyone has to use to get home-owners insurance. Most home-owners think that it all stops and starts with Citizens. For the most part it does. Up to now Citizens has been the only choice for home-owners insurance in Florida.
According to the Citizens Insurance website, “Florida’s unique exposure to hurricanes led the Florida Legislature to take extraordinary steps in 2002 to secure the availability of property insurance coverage for all Floridians. On May 4, 2002, Florida’s governor signed legislation creating Citizens Property Insurance Corporation by merging two existing insurance associations.”
So for a long time, the only option for home insurance in Florida has been Citizens. In essence, the creation of Citizens Insurance let Florida home-owners have a “state-backed property insurer” so that home-owners could get home insurance when other insurers chose not to insure in Florida.
So, to say that there is another choice or even several more choices for home-owners insurance in Florida is sure to catch the attention of most home-owners.
In 2013, the Florida Legislature created the Property Insurance Clearinghouse in order to seek private-market insurance companies other than Citizens for Florida home-owners. The Citizens Insurance website says that the new and innovative program is set up to help agents find private-market insurance “coverage for their customers who may believe Citizens is their only insurance option and that The Property Insurance Clearinghouse currently is available only for new applicants for HO-3 policies.”
The Insurance Journal says “that the clearinghouse has been highly anticipated as a means to promote competition in the private market while reducing the size of the current one-million member Citizens.” Most agents not surprisingly tend to choose Citizens for Florida home-owners without looking at other options.
To find and compare rates in your area from leading insurance companies, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has launched a website that gives you an estimate of quotes from many leading insurance companies.
Access to the website is: https://choices.fldfs.com/pandc/homeowners
Searching for home insurance (or even other kinds of insurance) in Florida and finding an agent is quite easy through this website. You have to make a couple of clicks pertaining to the kind of insurance you need and then the website links you to the insurance providers.
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Spokeswoman, Brittany Perez says thousands of Floridians are already taking advantage of the information. “Consumers can click on their respective county, see what sort of insurance company options are available and they can find the contact information for those companies all in one spot. So they can look between the different choices, compare the different choices and ultimately find the best choice for their homeowners’ insurance coverage.”
Homeowners can compare prices for getting a wind mitigation done on their home versus not doing this. A wind mitigation is a very specific process for storm proofing your home. It’s not an easy process and is quite involved.
As a consumer, I used the website to search local insurance agencies to get a quote for home insurance. I got several quotes and they were in the price range of the estimates given. It felt like the insurance agents were all using the same provider (likely Citizens) as the rates were all about the same. However, the website is still really a great resource for finding local insurance agents. It’s convenient and has all of the information for contacting local agents in one place.