MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Recently, thousand of South Florida homeowners insured by state-run Citizens' Property Insurance were notified via mail that their coverage would be dropped, even though they hadn't approved it.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, those who didn't read the letters or threw them away will be automatically "depopulated" into another company they know nothing about.
It's all part of a recent effort by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to "shrink" Citizens' Insurance and move policy holders in private companies.
It's called a "Negative Option" plan and is intentionally aimed at getting as many policyholders as possible off Citizens' coverage, according to a member of the group's Board of Directors.
Eighty four thousand policies have already been 'taken out' and it's believed as many as 210,000 more, mainly based in high risk coastal areas of South Florida, have been earmarked for removal.
The goal is reduce Citizens' exposure and allow private companies to take on more "risk" in the event of a bad storm in the future.
But critics argue the way the program is being done does not give homeowners enough information about the new companies that want to take over their policies, or their ability to pay claims in the event of any major storm losses.
To make matters worse there is a 30 day countdown which expires on Nov. 6th for this recent group of homeowners "selected" for depopulation. That means those homeowners who do nothing, and fail to send back the proper 'opt out' forms, they will be automatically removed from Citizens' Insurance and their policy will be turned over to a new company.
Citizens' Property Insurance main web page has little information on the plan, so many homeowners may be frustrated on how to get more information to 'just sayi no", but CBSMiami found more information for you to decide for yourself if you want to accept the new coverage, or opt out and stay with your current Citizens' policy.
You can also get more information from your local insurance agent.
Click Here for more information of Citizens' "Depopulation Plan."
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