Understanding the Citizens’ Depopulation Process

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation plays a pivotal role in providing property insurance coverage to homeowners in Florida. As a state-run entity, it ensures that Floridians have access to property insurance, especially in areas where coverage may be challenging to obtain through private insurers. Florida law requires that Citizens create programs to help return policies to the private market, thereby reducing the state’s financial risk.

The depopulation or “takeout” process facilitates the transfer of policies from the state-run insurance provider to private insurance companies. Let’s break down the key components of this process: 

  • Depopulation Eligibility Criteria:
    • The Office of Insurance Regulation has established guidelines to ensure a fair and transparent process. To protect policyholders, private insurers participating in the depopulation process must receive prior approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation.
    • All current Citizens policyholders are eligible to be selected through the depopulation process. However, under Citizen rules a policyholder will only be required to accept an offer from a private insurer if the depopulation offer is within 20% of the estimated Citizens renewal premium based on current approved rates and policy information.
  • Notification:
    • Policyholders selected by a private insurer will receive a Depopulation Packet from Citizens.
    • This packet provides details of the proposed transfer to a private insurer, including coverage summary, premium rates being offered at renewal by the private insurer, and contact information.
    • The premium rate offered by the private insurer will become effective at the policyholders’ next renewal.
    • Policyholders have 30 days to respond to the depopulation offer.
    • Policyholders should be aware that if the premium being offered by a private insurer is within 20% of the estimated Citizens renewal premium, that policyholder will not be eligible to receive a renewal from Citizens in the future. 
  • Seamless Transition:
    • For eligible policyholders, the transfer of their policies from Citizens to the private insurer occurs seamlessly.
    • Citizens will mail the policyholder and mortgage company a Notice of Assumption and a Citizens Non-renewal. The notice states that the private insurance carrier will provide a renewal offer before the expiration date when the Citizens policy will be non-renewed.
    • If a policyholder disregards the takeout packet, Citizens will automatically place the policy with an approved depopulation company. This also applies to those policyholders that would have been eligible to remain at Citizens because the premium rate is more than 20% above their current Citizens premiums.
    • Customers with multiple take-out offers should make a company selection or contact their local insurance agent. 

How to make a Company Selection:

1. Locate the necessary information:

  • From the depopulation packet, locate the Citizens policy number, registration code, and the depopulation response URL. To access the depopulation response URL, click here.

2. Select the desired company:

  • Mark your preference by selecting the desired company and initial the box near the bottom of the page.
  • After choosing, press ‘Submit” to complete the selection process.

The depopulation process ensures a balance between public and private insurance coverage options in a state prone to natural disasters.  Policyholders can actively participate in this process by understanding notifications and how to make a company selection, ensuring that their insurance needs are met effectively and efficiently.