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Delinquent Policyholders Breathing Easier

July 27th, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

More than 13,000 Citizens Insurance customers who were behind in paying their premiums are breathing easier.

The insurer had said it would start cancelling for nonpayment on August 15th, but customers are getting a reprieve.

Three percent of policy holders with Citizens, Florida’s insurer of last resort, are behind in their premiums.

When COVID hit in mid-March, the company suspended cancellations.

“That moratorium was scheduled to expire on August 15th,” said Citizens Spokesperson Michael Peltier.

Those who gotten behind got a letter ten days ago, telling them without payment, policies would indeed be cancelled August 15th.

On Friday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis urged Citizens to wait until the end of hurricane season, which runs through the end of November, before cancelling anyone.

“My biggest concern is that if you cancel somebody now, then they’re in the middle of hurricane season and there is a named storm out int he Gulf or Atlantic, they’re not going to be able to get re-written, so this was just bad timing for the citizens of the state of Florida,” said Patronis.

The company heard him loud and clear.

“We decided to extend that moratorium until the end of the year,” said Peltier.

Unlike most homeowners who pay their premium and their taxes along with their mortgage, two out of three Citizens customers pay the company directly.

Payments are being delayed, not forgiven.

“There are solutions out there for you to help them help you in order to pay your bill,” said Patronis.

And while late payments spiked in March and April, the number who are late is actually smaller than during pre-COVID times.

The CFO tells us Citizens is strong financially.

The company was unable to tell us whether any late premiums would be deducted from any claim made by someone in arrears.

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