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Preparation for Tropical Storm Nicole
November 08, 2022
As Tropical Storm Nicole approaches, Citizens hopes your family stays safe and that your property remains undamaged. Even if the storm doesn’t make landfall in your area, many areas outside of the forecast cone could experience tropical storm-force winds, rain and storm surge. Citizens is prepared, and we:
- We will send a pre-storm email today and a text message tomorrow to policyholders in potentially affected areas with an email address and cell phone number on file, except for those who have had their policy assumed and those without wind coverage.
- Have Quick Reference: Hurricane Coverages documents on our website to help you answer policyholders’ questions regarding coverage during this type of event. These documents are located in the Personal Job Aids and Commercial Job Aids sections on the Training page of the Agents site.
- Have a Storms section on our website with useful hurricane resources for you and your customers.
- May open Catastrophe Response Centers (CRCs). If necessary, we will post CRC locations and operating hours on our website following the storm’s landfall. Visit Storms > Respond > Catastrophe Response Centers. Agents also will be notified via email if there are CRCs. CRCs are staffed with our claims specialists to provide immediate response to policyholders. CRC staff can:
- Process first notices of loss (FNOLs)
- Answer questions and offer general assistance
- If necessary, will conduct post-storm webinars next week for our agents to discuss our response plans. Citizens will send an email to agents with specific webinar information later.
- If necessary, will send storm- and claims-related texts to storm-affected policyholders.
- Have suspended binding of new or increased coverage because the National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning.
Claims and Loss Reporting
Advise policyholders to report a loss using one of three convenient options:
- myPolicy, Citizens’ online policyholder self-service tool that is mobile-ready
- Policyholders must have a myPolicy account. Information about how to register is available on our myPolicy page.
- Once a policyholder is logged in to myPolicy, they can select the Claims tab and then click the blue Report a Claim button.
- Contact your agent.
- Call Citizens’ toll-free at 866.411.2742.
After reporting, a Claims representative will call the policyholder back with the adjuster’s contact information.
Agents can report an FNOL in PolicyCenter®:
- Locate the policy in PolicyCenter and select Actions > New FNOL.
- Complete the fields and select Finish.
- To retrieve the claim number and adjuster’s name, wait a moment and then click Claims under Tools in the left sidebar.
Instruct policyholders to:
- Report a loss immediately.
- Take photos and/or video of property damage.
- Take reasonable emergency measures to protect the property from further damage or prevent unwanted entry to the property.
- If reasonably possible, retain the damaged property for Citizens to inspect.
- Keep detailed receipts.
- Be cautious of unsolicited vendor service offers. With assignment of benefits (AOB) contracts, policyholders give up the right to manage their claim and ensure it is resolved in a timely manner and completely. Advise the policyholders to understand AOB contract provisions before signing one.
- Refer policyholders to the Catastrophe Claims webpage on Citizens’ website for more information and direction.
As reported in the Changes to Policy Language that Impact Claim Payments and Coverage, ensure your impacted HO-3, HO-6 and DP-3 policyholders are aware of a policy provision that requires them to take reasonable emergency measures for the sole purpose of protecting covered property from further damage when experiencing a loss.
Notice of Loss
Citizens must receive prompt notice of loss. Except for policy provisions regarding reasonable emergency measures, there may be no coverage for permanent repairs that begin before one of the following occurs:
- 72 hours after the loss is reported to Citizens
- Loss is inspected by Citizens
- Verbal or written approval is provided by Citizens
For details, refer to Reporting a Claim in Four Easy Steps, located on the Brochures page of the Public website. A Spanish version also is available.
What is a Hurricane Deductible?
The hurricane deductible is applied on a calendar-year basis from January through December. During a busy hurricane season, once covered damages to the property exceed the hurricane deductible, claim payments may be issued even if the property sustains damage from multiple named storm events throughout the year.
Note: Policyholders should report their loss from this storm and previous storms even if they believe the individual storm loss or the aggregate of multiple losses will not exceed their hurricane deductible amount.
Agency principals can request a book-of-business listing via myAgency. For details, refer to the myAgency User Guide on the Agents website. Select Training > Personal Job Aids and look in the General section.
For more information about claims reporting and storm preparation, see Citizens’ online resources:
- Filing a Claim After a Named Storm
- Quick Reference: Hurricane Coverages listed on the Personal Job Aids and Commercial Job Aids sections on the Training page of the Agents site
- FNOL job aids on the Personal Job Aids and Commercial Job Aids sections on the Training page of the Agents site
- Search Frequently Asked Questions, and search by keywords FNOL or Claims
- Storms section on the Public site
- Claims section on the Public site
If you have questions or need additional support, contact Citizens via the Contact Us feature on the Agents website.
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Citizens provides agent communications online for historical purposes only, and the communications have not been updated to include any changes that may have been made after publication. Agents can find the latest information by reviewing the applicable underwriting manuals, and by logging in and accessing our FAQs, which are available from the top of any page on our website.