Four private insurers have been approved to take over 150,000 policies from state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., regulators said Thursday.
Citizens customers will be notified Oct. 1 if their policies have been selected. Policyholders have 30 days to accept or decline the offers. If customers don't respond, their policies will be assumed by the private companies on Nov. 6.
Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. 75,000 policies
Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. 35,000
Southern Fidelity Property & Casualty 30,000
Southern Oak Insurance Co. 10,000
Policyholders who accept the offers may be charged higher rates by the new companies. But if they stay with Citizens, the insurer of last resort, they face the possibility of steep assessments.
Citizens has been trying to push many of its 1.4 million policyholders to the private market, saying it's concerned it may not have enough money to pay claims after a major hurricane.
Everyone in the state may be charged up to 6 percent of their annual premiums if Citizens can't pay storm claims. But Citizens policyholders would pay first and could pay the most - up to 45 percent of their premiums.
So far in 2012, private companies have taken over 84,339 Citizens policies, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.