Citizens Property Insurance Corporation review
Get public policies for high-risk homes, sponsored by the Florida Legislature.
- Get a quote if you’re a Florida resident unable to get a policy or enough coverage elsewhere.
- Pick something else if you can afford private homeowner’s insurance.
- Homeowners with high-risk houses should get a quote.
- Insures properties the private sector won’t
- Among the least expensive premiums in the state
- Replacement cost coverage options
- Many negative reviews
- No customization options
- Fees to recoup disaster costs
|New home discount discount||No|
|New homeowner discount||No|
|Home safety features discount||Yes|
|New policy discount||No|
|No claims discount||No|
|Personal property coverage||Yes|
|Valuable personal property||Yes|
|Identity theft coverage||No|
Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed.org, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Citizens Property Insurance was created as a last resort for Florida residents who are unable to find insurance in the private sector. And while its policies tend to be basic and have few, if any, customization options, the premiums are affordable. It offers a lifeline to those who wouldn’t be able to carry insurance or a mortgage without it.
But if you’re able to find coverage elsewhere, or just want to compare your homeowners insurance options, you may find that private companies can better put together a policy tailored to your needs.
What home insurance coverage does Citizens offer?
Unless specified otherwise, every policy includes coverage for living expenses, personal liability and all structures and personal belongings on the property.
- Condominium unit owners. Covers specified interior features and personal property. It also provides living expenses and liability coverage.
- Dwelling fire. Citizens has several policies in this category, specific to whether you live in a house, duplex or manufactured home. The company also offers a policy with more limited coverage for a cheaper price.
- Homeowners. Primary residence coverage for homes and duplexes.
- Mobile home tenant or renters contents. A policy for renters of mobile and manufactured homes that covers personal belongings, living expenses and personal liability coverage. But it doesn’t cover the structure itself.
- Mobile homeowners. Coverage for mobile and manufactured homes if they are your primary residence.
- Modified homeowners. A less expensive policy with lower payouts and major exclusions. For example, this policy doesn’t cover water damage and won’t meet the minimum insurance requirements of most mortgage holders.
- Tenant or renters contents. A policy that covers personal belongings, help with living expenses and personal liability if you’re renting a house, condo or apartment.
What home insurance discounts can I get?
If you can document the steps you’ve taken to make your home more safe, you’ll qualify for the following discounts:
- Centrally monitored burglar alarms. Homes and businesses with centrally monitored burglar alarms qualify for a discount.
- Centrally monitored fire alarms. This discount is available to homes or businesses with centrally monitored fire alarm systems installed, regardless of if you’ve installed sprinklers.
- Florida Building Code compliance. This discount is available to homes built on or after January 1, 2002. Older homes with updated roofing that meets the 2002 Florida Building Code can also qualify.
- Roof construction. If you don’t qualify for the Florida Building Code discount but you’ve done work on your roof, you may qualify for this smaller discount.
- Wind-mitigation. If you’ve installed wind-mitigation features, such as storm shutters or wind-resistant roofing, call for a wind-mitigation inspection to discount your premium.
Pros and cons of Citizens home insurance
- Insures where others won’t. Citizens was created to provide coverage to the uninsurable. You can get the coverage you need for any home.
- Among the cheapest rates in Florida. Because affordability is part of the company’s charter, your rates will be competitive or lower than most private options.
- Replacement cost coverage. The standard Citizens policy covers what it costs to replace your home, even if that exceeds the appraised real estate value.
- Poor reviews. Customer reviews across most consumer and insurance review sites are at 2-stars or below. Complaints of arbitrarily canceled policies, increasing premiums and being slow to assess and pay claims top the long list. Citizens also has a D+ rating from the Better Business Bureau as of January 2020.
- No customization options. Unlike private insurers that allow you to adjust your coverage amounts within the policy, Citizens has set coverage amounts. That means you may be paying for more coverage than you need, or be unable to increase coverage to a level that you want.
- Disaster assessments. As a nonprofit company, Citizens holds back 17% of every premium in reserve for larger incidents, such as a hurricane, to make sure it has the money to pay out multiple larger claims. If that money is depleted, it can require policyholders to pay one-time assessment fees of up to 45% of their premium to keep the company from running a deficit.
How to apply for Citizens home insurance
You can only apply for a policy through an authorized Citizens agent. To find the one nearest you, use the Find a Citizens agent tool on its website.
What info do I need to apply for home insurance with Citizens?
Before you apply, make sure you have the following information ready:
- Basic home features information. The construction year and type of your structure, the number and types of rooms and the total living area will be required. If you live in a townhouse, you also need to know the number of units in the building.
- Fire protection. Know where the nearest fire hydrant is located and which is your responding fire department.
- Major home systems. Have documentation for any major updates to your electrical, plumbing or heating and cooling systems.
- Photographs of your property. Use photos to document the front and back of the house and any other structures on the property.
- Roof information. Make sure you know the condition, shape, materials and last update to your roof.
- Special features. Know the specifics of your fire and theft alarm systems, the specifics of any pools or spas on your property and provide the name of any nearby bodies of water and its distance from your house. If you have a home business, bring documentation of any business assets.
- Wind-damage mitigation. Provide documentation for any wind-mitigation features you’ve installed.