2009 brings about two important changes for personal lines customers insured with Citizens Property and Casualty Insurance Company (Citizens).
Effective January 1, 2009, any home being insured with Citizens with a value greater than $750,000 located in the “wind-borne debris region” must have opening protection (such as storm shutters or impact resistant windows and doors) that complies with the Florida Building Code. The wind-borne debris region consists of an area where the maximum wind speeds during a hurricane could exceed 120 mph. This includes most of the coastal counties like Collier, Lee, Sarasota, Monroe, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, etc.
Those homes currently insured with Citizens have until July 1, 2009 to meet these new requirements. Wind mitigation forms will have to be obtained by the insured that show that the home is totally in compliance with these requirements.
As it stands now, if you do not get the required opening protection, Citizens will not offer you coverage. While we should be able to find you coverage in the alternative market, you should be aware that the alternative market can be more expensive and sometimes offers less coverage than you may be comfortable with.
Citizens is revising the policy forms for their personal lines customers that have a “wind only” policy. Effective February 1, 2009, any “wind only” policy written on a single family home will be non-renewed and then subsequently re-written on the new form.
You will be receiving notification from Citizens about these non-renewals and your Lutgert account manager will be contacting you approximately 45 days prior to the expiration date of your policy to begin the rewriting process. Please know that we are well informed on these changes and do not anticipate any issues with the transition.
If you have any questions, please contact your account manager who will be able to help you.