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ICYMI: Updates for Florida Policyholders Following Hurricane Idalia

Sep 1, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis provided updates for Florida policyholders following Hurricane Idalia, including the issuance of an emergency order by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to protect policyholders impacted by the storm. Additional announcements include the approval of a fifth property insurer since March and the approval of 202,399 additional takeout requests from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens). These announcements follow a series of actions by the Governor to support Florida policyholders when disaster strikes.

“As we begin Hurricane Idalia recovery efforts, OIR remains committed to protecting consumers and increasing options for policyholders in the voluntary market,” said Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky. “In the coming weeks, OIR will work in overdrive to both support policyholders in impacted areas and continue our efforts to promote a robust insurance market for consumers.”

Policyholder Protections

OIR issued EO 315284-23 to protect policyholders impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The order applies to all insurers in the state and policyholders in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Wakulla counties. The order:

  • Extends grace periods for any policy, provision, notice, correspondence, or law that imposes a time limit upon an insured to perform any act until October 31, 2023. 
  • Prohibits the cancellation or nonrenewal of a policy in an impacted area, except at the written request of the policyholder, until October 31, 2023. 
  • Prohibits the cancellation or nonrenewal of a personal residential or commercial residential property insurance policy covering a property repaired as a result of damage from Hurricane Idalia for a period of 90 days after it has been repaired. 
  • Directs insurers, surplus lines and other regulated entities to implement processes and procedures to facilitate the efficient payment of claims.

Floridians seeking assistance with insurance related questions should contact the Department of Financial Services Consumer Services either by visiting their website, or by contacting the DFS Consumer Services Assistance Line 1-877-693-5236. The line is open Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

New Entities Entering the Market

OIR also approved an additional property & casualty insurer to enter Florida’s market this year following historic legislative reforms to strengthen Florida’s insurance market. The company, Orange Insurance Exchange, joins Orion180 Select Insurance Company, Orion180 Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company, and Tailrow Insurance Companies as newly approved property and casualty insurers. A full list of new entities approved to enter the Florida insurance market is available on OIR’s website here.

Companies interested in becoming authorized to sell insurance in the state of Florida can find additional information here.

2023 Citizens Takeout Approvals

OIR also announced that requests by companies to assume Citizen’s policies has increased 500% over the year following the approval of an additional 202,399 requests to assume policies for a November 2023 assumption. To date, OIR has approved a total of 482,399 policies this year. A list of these companies is available on OIR’s website here.

Companies seeking to grow their business through the Citizens depopulation program can find additional information here.

About the OIR

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance, and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about OIR, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm.