Call Citizens First FAQs

Call Citizens First FAQs

1. How do I report a claim? What information should I have ready?

Call Citizens First at 866.411.2742 as soon as you become aware of or suspect damage. This toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can report a claim to Citizens, at no cost, even before you know the full extent of damage. We’ll work with you to make sure any covered damage is repaired quickly, safely and with high-quality workmanship.

If possible, have the following information available when you call:

  • Your policy number, which can be found on your Policyholder ID card or the front pages of your policy information package
  • Your contact information, including any temporary addresses or phone numbers
  • Damage description (example: “A tree limb fell on the roof,” “Lightning struck the house”)
  • Mortgage company information (if applicable)

Call even if you are missing some of this information. Citizens will be able to assist you.

2. Why should I Call Citizens First?

If your property is damaged, your first step toward recovery begins by calling Citizens at 866.411.2742. This toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calling Citizens first will ensure that you remain informed about your claim and enable Citizens to begin working to help you get your home repaired or rebuilt as a result of any covered damage.

Report a claim as soon as you become aware of or suspect damage. You can report a claim to Citizens even before you know the full extent of damage. Citizens will work with you to determine the full extent of damages and make sure any covered damage is repaired quickly, safely and with high-quality workmanship.

3. Can I report a claim at 3 a.m.?

Yes. Because disaster can strike anytime, anywhere, you can call Citizens 24/7 on our toll-free claims hotline at 866.411.2742. A customer care representative, not a voice mail system, will take your claim and set you on the road to recovery.

4. How much will reporting a claim cost me?

There is no cost to report a claim when you call Citizens first. If the damage is covered under your policy, policy deductibles will apply if damage is covered and meets policy conditions.

Your policy includes two deductibles, a Hurricane deductible and an All Other Perils deductible. A deductible represents the amount of a covered claim that is the responsibility of the insured. Your deductible can be either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the total amount of insurance on the policy. Dollar amount deductibles are a fixed amount. Percentage deductibles are based on a percentage of your home’s insured value and not a percentage of the amount of your claim. The deductible will change if the insured value of your home changes.

When you report a claim, you will be required to satisfy the applicable deductible before a claim can be paid. For example, if your policy has a $500 deductible for water losses, and your claim covers $20,000 worth of repairs, you are responsible for paying the $500 and Citizens would cover $19,500. When it comes to hurricane losses, your deductible may be a percentage of your home’s insured value. For example, if your hurricane deductible is 2 percent, and your home’s insured value is $200,000, you are responsible for paying the first $4,000 of covered hurricane damage. In this case, a claim requiring $20,000 in repairs, you would pay $4,000 and Citizens would pay $16,000.

5. Should I do anything before calling Citizens to report a claim?

Your safety is Citizens’ first priority. Make sure you and your family are safe and your property is secure. If your property is unsafe, do not try to enter your home. Allow our trained claims representatives (adjusters) to inspect and determine the damage to your home. You can report a claim to Citizens even before you know the full extent of your damages.

If safety and common sense allow, take steps to reduce further property damage and safeguard your home. For example:

  • Take photos of the damaged area to document your loss before making repairs or removing items.
  • Make emergency or temporary repairs to help prevent further damage, such as turning off the water to your home, placing a tarp on your roof or performing water extraction. Your adjuster will authorize any covered permanent removal or repairs after their physical inspection.
  • Prepare an inventory of damaged items. Keep any damaged contents in a safe location so the adjuster can complete an inspection of those items.
  • Compile a list of questions for your adjuster.
  • Keep receipts from any repairs or additional living expenses resulting from the damage.
  • If appropriate, get a copy of the fire or police report for the damage to your home.
  • During the inspection of your property, your adjuster will:
    • Review your loss information and assess the damage
    • Collect photos, receipts and estimates to start repair

Remember, Citizens has to inspect damages to determine reasonable repairs.

6. How do I know if my damage is covered?

Call Citizens first. Also, review your policy and discuss your coverage with your agent. Once you report a claim, a claims adjuster will inspect your property, and Citizens will review the adjuster’s report to determine whether the damages are covered under your policy. If your policy does not cover your property’s damage, Citizens will provide an explanation in writing. Citizens also will answer any questions you may have.

7. My neighbor’s tree fell into my yard on my fence. Should I call Citizens?

Yes. Even if you are unsure whether damage will be covered under your policy, it is always a good idea to call Citizens first. Citizens has professional Customer Care Specialists available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 866.411.2742. It costs nothing to make the call. Our adjusters will be happy to assist you and let you know if your Citizens policy provides coverage.

8. What can I expect after I report a claim? How long will it take?

Typically, a claims adjuster should contact you within 24 hours of reporting your claim to Citizens. Following a widespread or catastrophic event such as a hurricane, you can expect to be contacted by an adjuster within 72 hours.

9. How is my claim handled?

After you call Citizens first, you will receive a claim number and contact information for the adjuster assigned to your claim. Your adjuster will call you to schedule an onsite inspection and come to your property to inspect the damage. During the visit, your adjuster will provide you with their contact information, confirm your contact information and details of the loss, and suggest any further temporary repairs.

Following the inspection, your claim will be reviewed by a Citizens claims examiner. If the loss covered by your policy and the cost of the damage is more than your deductible, the examiner will submit your claim for payment. If your policy does not cover your property’s damage, Citizens will provide an explanation in writing. Citizens also will answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.

10. I have questions about the progress of my claim. Whom should I call?

When you report your claim, you will receive a claim number and contact information for your adjuster. If you have questions, start by calling the adjuster. If you are unable to reach your adjuster, you can contact Citizens at:

  • Phone:  866.411.2742 (available 24/7)
  • Email:   Claims.Communications@Citizensfla.com
  • Fax:      888.392.6739
  • Mail:     Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
                 P.O. Box 19700

                 Jacksonville, FL 32245-9700

Include your full name, claim number and policy number on any documentation submitted to Citizens.

11. Does my agent have information about my claim?

Yes. Your agent is able to access your claim details and provide you with:

  • Claim status
  • Claim number
  • Total amount paid
  • Adjuster name and phone number
  • Date closed, if applicable

12. I have made repairs to protect my home from further damages. Can I be reimbursed?

To prevent further damage, you may need to make temporary repairs to your home. Before you make any permanent repairs or remove any damaged contents from your home:

  • Make any emergency or temporary repairs to help prevent further damage, such as turning off the water to your home, placing a tarp on your roof or performing water extraction
  • Your adjuster will authorize any covered permanent removal or repairs after a physical inspection.
  • Prepare a list of lost and damaged items using our Personal Property Inventory form.
  • Take photos to document the damage. Provide these photos to your adjuster to document your claim.
  • Keep all damaged content items in a safe place for the adjuster to review during the inspection. The adjuster will inspect each of the items on your inventory list.
  • Keep your receipts.
  • Request and copy original receipts for all purchases or services needed to make temporary or emergency repairs.
  • Save receipts for any additional living expenses.
  • Save the copies for your personal records, and give the original receipts to your adjuster.

Remember, Citizens must be able to inspect damages to determine reasonable repairs.

13. Can I choose my contractor?

Yes. Your Citizens claims adjuster will work with any contractor you choose. Citizens must access the property to determine payment for reasonable repairs. Once Citizens has reviewed the adjuster’s inspection report, you will be notified about what repairs are covered under your policy.

It’s important that you choose your contractor carefully. Ask for references, and verify licensure. State agencies such as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Department of Financial Services offer license search tools on their website. Do not sign a contract until you and the contractor have agreed upon the scope of damages. Your adjuster will work with you and your contractor to reach an agreement for the repairs and the costs of a covered loss.

14. My contractor has asked me to sign an “assignment of benefits” contract. What does this mean?

Assignment of benefits is a contract between you, as the policyholder, and a third party, typically a contractor or a mitigation company. Through an assignment of benefits, the policyholder assigns to a third-party benefits under their policy for work that the contractor has performed. By signing an assignment of benefits, you may be giving rights to benefits under your policy to the contractor or mitigation company, which may not be in your best interest.

15. What if I am unhappy with the work done by my contractor?

Contractors work for you. It’s important that you choose your contractor carefully. Ask for references, and verify licensure. Do not sign a contract until you and the contractor have agreed upon the scope of damages. Your adjuster will work with you and your contractor to reach an agreement for the repairs and the costs of a covered loss.

Keep open communication with the contractor and the adjuster to ensure a smooth process. Citizens will work with contractors to determine an appropriate price for covered repairs. Reasonable payment will be made for damages that have been incurred. Remember, Citizens must inspect damages to determine reasonable repairs.

16. Is there specific documentation needed if my loss is due to fire or burglary (e.g., fire department and/or police report)?

Yes. Your policy outlines specific conditions in the Duties After Loss section. You are required to notify the police in the case of theft, and a report will be issued to you by local authorities. In the event of a fire, you should request a copy of the fire report to help with the claims-filing process.

17. My home is unlivable. What can I do?

Your safety is Citizens’ first priority. Make sure you and your family are safe and your property is secure. If your property is unsafe, do not try to enter your home. Allow our trained adjusters to inspect and determine the damage to your home.

Your policy may provide additional living expense (ALE) coverage, which helps pay for expenses above and beyond your usual living expenses if your home is deemed unlivable due to a covered loss:

  • ALE covers payments for food, a place to live and other increased costs associated with maintaining your household in a location other than your home, due to a covered loss that makes your home uninhabitable.
  • If you are displaced from living at your property, accurate receipt documentation is required. Please save and provide your adjuster with copies of these receipts.
  • ALE coverage may be limited. Experts suggest having cash and or a credit card with an available balance of at least $1,000 on hand at all times.

Check with your agent for more information about ALE coverage.

18. I received a hanging flyer on my door saying “My insurance company may owe me money” or “Call us for a free home inspection.” Is this from Citizens?

Citizens does not solicit to its policyholders to report claims. If Citizens needs a home inspection in order to underwrite your policy, we or your agent will advise you on the specific type of inspection needed and work with you to schedule. You can always contact us if you receive a flyer or postcard and have questions.