Citizens Property Insurance has been dominating the news lately, albeit not in a particularly positive way, and it is true that Citizens dominates the homeowners insurance market as a single company with the most policyholders in Florida. But less than a quarter of homeowners have insurance from this state-run entity, and the three-quarters with private insurance should know how the majority rules.
There are 30 counties among Floridaâ€™s 67 counties where private insurers provide greater than 90 percent of the homeowner insurance policies. There are an additional 20 counties with upwards of 80 percent private market share. Yes, these are primarily counties without coastline; yet, looking at a
chart of residential policies in force debunks the myth that private insurers have â€śabandonedâ€ť the state.
Both Orange County and Seminole County have 98 percent of homeowners policies in the private market. The remaining 2 percent are in Citizens, and these may be older homes or those with the wind portion of coverage being provided by the state. On the other end of the spread is Dade County, the most populous county in Florida that is only about 6 feet above sea level. It has 44 percent of its residential policies in the private market. Keep in mind when many people have both a Citizens policy for their wind risk and a private insurance policy for everything else, such as fire, tornado damage or other perils.
So, the vast majority of Floridians have a private insurance policy â€“ 77 percent of us. And, this vast majority also helps finance the claims costs for those who have Citizens coverage. If you have a private insurance policy, check out the Declarations Page on your homeowners insurance policy. Youâ€™ve kicked in money to Citizens every year. Maybe you donâ€™t mind or maybe you didnâ€™t know?