Condominium units insured under a condominium unit owners form will no longer be required to obtain flood coverage to be eligible for a Citizens policy under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature and subsequently signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Legislature passed HB 799, which exempts condominium unit owners from flood insurance requirements for coverage with Citizens. The change was among a litany of reforms passed by the Legislature during its 2023 session impacting Citizens and the private property insurance market.
Other Personal Lines residential policyholders with wind coverage will continue to be required to obtain flood coverage to remain at Citizens under a phased-in approach approved by the Legislature in December 2022.
The National Flood Insurance Program allows policyholders who have already purchased flood insurance to cancel the policy up until its inception date of the flood coverage but will not refund flood premiums once the policy takes effect.
Policyholders wishing to cancel flood coverage should contact their insurance agent to make the changes.
Flood Coverage Still Required for Other Personal Residential Policies
Citizens Personal Lines policyholders in designated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood hazard areas whose policy includes wind coverage will be required to have flood insurance to renew their Citizens policies on or after July 1, 2023.
For all other Personal Lines residential policyholders that include wind coverage (excluding condominium owners), the flood insurance requirement will be phased in for new and renewing policyholders over the next four years, as follows:
- January 1, 2024, for a structure that has a dwelling replacement cost of $600,000 or more
- January 1, 2025, for a structure that has a dwelling replacement cost of $500,000 or more
- January 1, 2026, for a structure that has a dwelling replacement cost of $400,000 or more
- January 1, 2027, for all other Personal Lines residential property insured by Citizens
Other Legislative Changes
The statutory change to exempt condominium unit owners from Citizens’ flood insurance requirement was among many significant changes passed by the Legislature, including a wide-ranging measure (SB 7052) relating to insurer accountability.
Other changes include:
- Prohibiting insurers from reducing loss estimates in adjuster reports without providing detailed explanations for the changes
- Requiring insurers to create a list of changes and reveal who changed the adjuster reports or retain all versions of the reports for future inspection
- Barring insurers from cancelling or nonrenewing a residential policy for non-hurricane-related covered losses until the property has been repaired or one year after the insurer issues the final claim payment, whichever is earlier
- Increasing maximum fines for unfair or deceptive trade practices and for a failure to timely respond to consumer complaints