If you hear about the same issue over and over again from more than one source, the odds are pretty good that you’ve got a problem. Here in Florida, we’ve got a problem — a big one — with the way Citizens Property Insurance Corporation treats its customers.
I’m not an expert on the insurance industry here in the Sunshine State. I can’t give you a roadmap for actuarial happiness in a region like ours, which faces plenty of natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. But I can tell you this. A tsunami of angry consumers is a disaster, too. And if your business model is pissing off consumers, it needs to change, quick, even if — especially if — the government owns your company.
Some policyholders out there still think they’re better off going with Citizens Property because it is a government entity. It was created by, and operates for, the people of Florida. Consumers who expect fair treatment from Citizens, though, may be in for a bad surprise.
Yes. Citizens is a state-run insurance company — the biggest property insurer in the state. What a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that it does not have to play by the same rules that private companies do. It jacks up consumer bills massively and without warning, forcing homeowners into impossible financial positions overnight. How? For one thing, it arbitrarily revokes consumer discounts for hurricane preparation, in many cases contradicting the findings of its own inspectors. Its customer service is lousy — because it can’t be sued for acting in bad faith. And last but not least, Citizens makes consumers beg for, and wait way too long to get, payment on legitimate claims. The Fox 13 report below proves it.
Bottom line: The way this company does business sucks. And it needs to change, fast, or get shut down … so it can be replaced by something that is more responsive to consumers. Send a message to Governor Rick Scott.
It’s my blog, but your voice. I want to hear you.
Sun Sentinel: Thousands of South Floridians lose insurance discounts after Citizens’ inspections
Governor Rick Scott: Email the Governor