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IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CITIZENS INSURANCE POLICY

If you are here, is because most likely you received a letter from us with an offer of coverage to renew your current homeowners policy with one of our preferred carriers instead of Citizens. What you received is a legitimate quote (insurance offer) based on the information Citizens (the state, last-resort insurer) has on record about your policy. We simply want you to consider switching your current Citizens policy to the one we are quoting. Based on our preliminary analysis, provided no other unknown factors are involved, this should be a perfect fit for upgrading your homeowners insurance.

If eligible, we strongly encourage you to upgrade your coverage with us, for many reasons. A change in insurance company may ultimately occur, and you may not have much of a choice should Citizens decide to transfer your policy at renewal. This change may involve a carrier you may not like, or you may have no knowledge about. Our companies have proven experience, financial stability, quality and reputation which are in most cases preferrable than any company you could be automatically transferred without you had any saying in the matter!

How will you know for sure if this is right for you?
First of all, determine which case describes your situation better:
1. You receive an automatic renewal transfer or "takeout" notice or,
2. A proposal prepared by one of our licensed agents or representatives.

If number one better describes
your situation: A little of due dilligence could be in order, to ascertain the offer, quality, reputation and financials of the receiving company are something you will feel comfortable with. Call your agent, or call us for a second opinion.

On the other hand, if number two better describes your situation better, you are in luck! Our carriers are top rated, with top reputation scores and we have done our homework to make sure you prequalify for something that is well in your best interest.

Why is this happening to you? Here's the short version: Unfortunately, after Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Wilma, most of the biggest insurers in the state of Florida decided it wasn't profitable for them to remain doing business and they left the state. This means they either cancelled all or most of the policies they had with them, or they simply transferred them to a different insurance company for a much higher rate and often a policy that is limited in coverage compared to what the prior insurance contract provided for.

One of the consequences of this major shift in insurance policies, is that Citizens, the state of Florida insurer, ended up having to assume more risk (insuring homes and properties) than any normal insurance company should have. With all these catastrophes in the state and in general a risky business climate (add fraud, sinkholes, water damage and flood to hurricanes) there was a real - and also perceived - lack of options in the state, contributing to the massive exodus of policies to Citizens.

Things are still challenging for Floridians in terms of insurance choices, but the industry has come a long way from the Wilma and Katrina days. While several insurance companies have gone out of business and there is a real need for additional regulation or state reforms, one thing is clear, and is that there are a lot of insureds who can be better insured with high quality private carriers instead of Citizens. For this reason, Citizens has started a state-wide 'depopulation' program, which partners with companies, agents and customers to accomplish its goal. You are receiving this letter because based on the information Citizens provided us with, you should qualify not just for a better policy, but also a better price with a qualified carrier that we represent.

Now that you know the basics, the following FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) should help you decide and understand even more what this is about:

Where did you get my information? I never authorized you to solicit me for insurance? Isn't this some kind of invasion to my privacy?
- When you sign up with Citizens, you are agreeing (and this is not optional) that you may be contacted by carriers and/or agents to find you a private market offer. This makes sense because Citizens is generally supposed to be a LAST RESORT CARRIER, when you can't qualify for insurance with a regular private company, due to claims, bankruptcy, background, and/or home qualifications. Although not always, Citizens prices are higher for this reason, and offer limited coverage and is in your best interest to switch, depending on the offer being presented to you. Citizens shares rating information of your property such as the year built, discounts you may qualify for, phone number and name. No personal information is ever shared, and this process is highly regulated and confidential. Not everybody can simply lookup your information.

Is this a policy? Is this a final quote?
- NO. The final price may be higher or lower depending on a full qualification conversation with you, when you contact us. Keep in mind the assumption letters that you receive from insurance companies directly are also subject to change if they find material facts that merit re-rating of your policy.

Is this automatic? I am going to be covered as of my renewal with your company? Can I opt-out?
- Most of the letters that we sent out, are NOT automatic. This means these are rough estimates based on the characteristics of your home, your geographical location, etc,etc. A formal quote with additional information would have to be done when you contact us by phone, email or in-person. There are some cases, in which the transfer will occur automatically, when we are already your agency of record, and a company has selected your coverage for a renewal "takeout". In either case, the switch is often recommended, but optional. How will you know? just call us! in general, if you have received a notice that says "notice of assumption" then it means the transfer will be automatic, unless you opt out by sending Citizens or us your decision in writing.

Is this quote an Apples to Apples comparison? Are the contracts any different?
- For the most part, Yes. They are Apples to Apples, but keep in mind, Citizens offers limited coverage, so most of the quotes we send are actually BETTER than your Citizens policy. Things such as liability, personal property and many optional endorsements are often better with the private carriers than with Citizens due to the limited nature of the Citizens contract. How you will know for sure? Call us! each situation is different.

What do I need to do to switch?
- Easy! call us to gather any additional information Citizens may not have provided us with, such as additional claims record, roof materials, optional endorsements, pets, among a brief list of questions to get you a final quote. You can also fill out this questionnaire if you prefer to do it online. Once you are ready to proceed, we will often need a copy of your inspections, or order new ones if they are expired (this happens less than 20% of the times). If you don't have these documents, don't worry! we can help you obtain them through your inspection company or other means.

Why should I even switch to begin with? I actually LIKE Citizens and don't wish to switch!
- There are MANY reasons to switch. If you received a letter, it's because most likely you have MAJOR chances of saving a substantial amount of money. If price is not important to you, there's the quality factor as well: Citizens has a potentially dangerous amount of risk which is never healthy for any insurer and therefore their customers. If there's a catastrophe, you may be subject to rate increases, assesments, even worse to those compared to private carriers. Not only that, but some people are often under the wrong impression that Citizens is backed by the taxing power and full faith of the state of Florida, which is completely wrong. They have reserves and deposits needed to pay claims just like any other insurer, and there is no guarantee that you will be better protected with the state than a solid private insurance company. In addition to this, the policy contract is typically limited compared to most of the private standard carriers' contracts: coverages such as liability, water backup, other structures, screen enclosures, and many other optional coverages are not covered by Citizens, and you could be missing out.

What insurance company did you use for the quote?
- We send many letters every week to different properties in the state. Some are quotes directly from a particular insurance company, and some are rough estimates based on the information provided by Citizens such as the general characteristics of your home, your geographical location, etc,etc. We take this information and compare it with average or typical rates in your area, and when we see a good potential for improvement, we sent you a letter with the estimated quote. A formal quote with additional information would have to be done when you contact us by phone, email or in-person. The vast majority of letters that we send out save a substantial amount of money on their premium, and/or improve on their current coverage.

Where I can get more information about this?
- Demotech.com - Insurance rating information on Financial Stability.
- AMBest.com - Insurance rating information on Financia Stability.
- FMAP.org - State of Florida website detailing information on the depopulation program.
- Citizensfla.com - Information from Citizens about the depopulation program
- FLOIR.com - Office of insurance regulation miscellaneous information
- Myfloridacfo.com - Lookup a Florida Insurance agent/agency
- fldfs.com- Lookup a Florida Insurance Company
- insureinflorida.com - shop around for different quotes with various Florida carriers.


Contact us with any questions or concerns at: service@deerfieldinsurance.net. Visit our Contact Page for more information about getting in touch with us.

 

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