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Citizens Property Insurance CEO Says Repopulation Increasing

Insurance policy and a pen with home in background. Home insurance concepts.
Adobe Stock
Insurance policy and a pen with home in background. Home insurance concepts.

Citizens Property Insurance is warning if it doesn’t stop writing new policies, it will be back up to insuring close to a quarter of Florida’s housing market. The state-backed company is designed to be used as a last resort for people who can’t find property insurance in the private market. But Barry Gilway warns they’re increasingly becoming the only option.

“Citizens [is] growing at a rate that is untenable for the long term," said Gilway. "We spent eight years going all the way from 23% of the market place to 4% of the market place because we don’t want to be in a situation where we are accessing insureds in the event of a major storm.”

Gilway says Citizens is averaging around 3,000 new policyholders a week. He says companies in the private market haven’t been showing interest in taking on new policies because the industry in Florida has become unprofitable. According to Gilway, during the first three quarters of the year, private industries in Florida have lost more than $725 million.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.