Market Choices: The “Depop” Season is Coming
As Florida’s insurer of last resort, Citizens is committed to helping our policyholders find private-market offers of coverage when available. One way we fulfill this mission is through Citizens’ Depopulation Program.
Dubbed “Depop” for short, the program matches Citizens’ policyholders with authorized private-market insurance companies interested in acquiring an existing policy from Citizens and providing coverage that, in many cases, may be more comprehensive.
Since 2009, the program has transferred more than 1.7 million Citizens policies to authorized insurance companies. These transfers historically come toward the end of hurricane season and until early spring when catastrophic storm activity is at its lowest.
The program for Personal Policies works like this: If one or more insurance companies select your policy for depopulation, you will receive a Policyholder Choice Offer letter from Citizens informing you of the company(ies) that would like to remove your policy from Citizens and take over coverage of your property.
Participating insurance companies must first be approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation to make an offer. As a Citizens policyholder, you have the right to remain with Citizens or accept the private insurance company offer.
What to Consider
To assist you in making your decision, the letter includes coverage worksheet(s) that provide details and estimated renewal premiums of all available private insurance company offers and your renewing Citizens policy. The letter also provides information on how to accept a private offer or remain with Citizens. This decision can be made online or through your agent.
Be aware that if you do not respond, Citizens will assign your policy to one of the private market companies that selected it. If your policy is assumed, you will receive a Notice of Assumption and Nonrenewal and Certificate of Assumption.
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you want to stay with Citizens or accept the private insurance company offer:
- A private insurance company may provide more comprehensive coverage.
- Citizens policyholders are also subject to much higher assessments (up to 45% of your premium) than private insurance policyholders if needed to pay Citizens’ claims.
We encourage you to talk to your agent, who is best equipped to provide guidance on your insurance needs. Citizens also provides a wealth of information on the Depopulation Program page on our website.