After Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in 1992, several Florida home insurers went out of business, while many others were forced to cut back on their policy writings. Thus to fill the void in the marketplace, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA).
Eventually, in 2001 the FRPCJUA along with the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA) were merged together under the umbrella of the program now called Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens).
Every Choice Home Insurance offers Citizens policies and will usually always quote them as they are backed by the government.
To be eligible, the homeowners applicant must certify on the application, along with the producer, that they are unable to obtain, and have not received an offer, for residential property insurance from any authorized insurer that is less than 15 percent higher than the price quoted through Citizens.
Citizens has several basic underwriting criteria. Examples of uninsurable properties include vacant or unoccupied properties, property in disrepair, properties over 50 years old unless the wiring, heating and roof have updated, do-it-yourself construction, condemned, inaccessible or property built over water and property with excessive or unusual liability exposure.
Citizens also provides a commercial property market for condominium associations, apartment buildings, common elements of Homeowners associations and other commercial coverages for residences.
As of September 1, 2007, Citizens began writing coverage for all types of commercial risks, including windstorm coverage throughout the entire state. The max limits are 2.5 million for all combined coverages.
Wind Only Policies
As I wrote above, Citizens is the combination of FWUA and FRPCJUA. The FWUA was created to offer coverage on properties in areas especially susceptible to windstorm damage. The only two perils covered are windstorm and hail.
All types of buildings and contents are eligible, but only if located in one of the defined areas of designated counties. In order to be a defined area, the local government was request such certification from the Department of Financial Services. After that is a hearing, which is held to find is wind coverage is critical, but generally unavailable, then the area may be designated eligible for Citizens wind coverage.