By early November people may start seeing major changes to property insurance, especially those who use Citizens Property Insurance. They're looking to drop over 400,000 policies in the next couple of months.
Hundreds of thousands are being transferred out of Citizens and that could have a direct impact on people’s wallet.
“Citizens needs to go back to becoming the insurance company of last resort," said Governor Rick Scott. "I want to make sure that everybody understands the risk of Citizens, the fact that you're subject to a hurricane tax assessment.”
Scott has been a major supporter of downsizing Citizens Property Insurance. Supporters and challengers want homeowners to check with insurance agents to make sure people are getting the best bang for their buck.
“Citizens has no business being the largest insurance company in the state of Florida," said policy advocate Sean Shaw. "We want these policies in other companies, the issue is people don’t know where to look.”
“I tell consumers all day, read the letter. Read every line in it. It may look like junk mail, but open and read it and discuss it with an insurance agent,” said Lisa Miller, former Deputy Commissioner of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Starting January 1, homeowners applying for Citizens for the first time will be required to use private insurance first, as long as its within 15 percent of Citizens’ rates.
Policyholders seeking renewal with Citizens will be forced to use a private insurer if they receive a private-market offer at the same price or less.
Miller said, “Take the offer. Come out of Citizens which is a government insurance company.”
“Everyone wants to look at sticker price and say, 'I’m going with cheapest,' but your coverage could be vastly different," said Shaw.
Policyholders do have a choice. If they elect to leave Citizens, their new policies may not offer the same level of coverage.
Currently there are more than 1 million policyholders with Citizens.