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Sha'Ron James


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Florida OIR approves Citizens request to limit coverage on non-weather claims

 

Date: August 21, 2017
Source: Property Casualty 360
Author:  Caterina Pontoriero

 

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulationhas approved new requests byCitizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida’s insurer of last resort.

The non-profit insurer will now be able to limit coverage on non-weather claims to $10,000, unless the policyholder agrees to use Citizens’ approved contractors in its newmanaged repair program. The company can also waive deductibles on these types of claims as a further incentive for policyholders to use the managed repair program.

The managed repair program offers insureds access to emergency water removal services and a managed repair contractor network when their homes have been damaged. Services are available to homeowner and dwelling property 3 policies that are new or renewed after July 1, 2017.

The Florida OIR also approved Citizens’ requested policy changes that will now require contractors to submit damage reports and repair estimates, participate in appraisals in Citizens’ adjusters and answer question under oath.

The new developments in Citizens’ coverage were proposed with the goal of helping to get skyrocketing claims and litigation costs under control. Citizens is slated to lose $85 million this year because of a boom in non-weather related water losses, such as leaking pipes.

"The Office of Insurance Regulation and Citizens Insurance have acted where the legislature has so far failed to act, to bring measures of responsibility and accountability to an out of control Assignment of Benefits system that is causing double-digit property insurance rate increases on Floridians," said Lisa Miller, former deputy insurance commissioner and host ofThe Florida Insurance Rounduppodcast. She predicts that other insurance companies will now seek the same newly approved coverage cap from OIR.

“We’re not going to solved the problems until we get legislative reform on the Assignment of Benefits issue to curb some of this ridiculous litigation that is taking place,” said Barry Gilway, president and CEO of Citizens.