Citizens Insurance event draws little interest

Aug 11, 2008

Florida Today–August 9, 2008


TITUSVILLE — Lisa Nicholas thought constituents would be lining up outside her boss Florida Rep. Ralph Poppell’s door in Titusville to get their questions answered about the state’s largest insurer, Citizens Insurance.

Instead she was met with the sound of silence.

Nobody called to reserve their place at the event on Friday. And only two people showed up Thursday at a similar open house in Sebastian.

The state representative ended up sending the Citizens representative home to Tallahassee.

The lack of response makes Nicholas scratch her head.

"I was expecting to be booked for three hours," Nicholas said.

Poppell said he was disappointed.

"We thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to have some of their individual questions answered," he said.

It seemed perfect timing. Citizens announced this week that some residential policyholders with wind-only coverage must reapply, mainly because of a computer system switch.

About 3,200 homeowners in Brevard County could be affected. Citizens Property Insurance policyholders number 27,793 in Brevard.

Some 2008 legislative changes effective Jan. 1 for Citizens Insurance:

  • Applicants for coverage for personal residential policies in wind-eligible areas — which includes Brevard — will be ineligible for coverage if the replacement cost of their home or condo unit is valued at or about $2 million.
  • New applicants with homes with replacement cost value at $750,000 or more, located in the wind-borne debris region — of which Brevard County is a part — will be required to have all openings outfitted with shutters or opening protections to be eligible for Citizens coverage.