TALLAHASSEE - The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. saw a decrease in new lawsuits during the first three months of the year — but it still faced more than 19,000 pending cases as of the end of March, according to a newly posted document on its website.
Citizens was served with 2,229 lawsuits from January through March, an average of 743 new lawsuits a month.
That was down from an average of 943 new lawsuits a month during the same period in 2022, according to the document prepared for a meeting Thursday of the Citizens Board of Governors' Claims Committee.
As of March 31, Citizens had 19,627 pending lawsuits, a 9 percent increase from the same time in 2022.
"As compared to this same time period last year, Citizens has experienced a significant decrease in new incoming lawsuits by over 20%," an executive summary said.
"Meanwhile, pending suit volume has increased by 9%, as expected, as the backlog of lawsuits continues to move through the court system."
Citizens and other insurers have long blamed lawsuits for driving up insurance costs in the state.
Lawmakers in recent years, including during a December special legislative session, have taken a series of steps aimed at curbing lawsuits against the industry.
Almost all of the lawsuits filed during the first three months of 2023 involved residential property, with 64 percent of those cases coming from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the update said.
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