BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A new state law forces Citizens to increase coverage on approximately 35,000 policies, but the increased coverage is not automatic.
"This is my retirement. I am never leaving this home," said Citizens policyholder Doreen Trembley.
Trembley gutted her mobile home home and updated every room spending $30,000.
"This is my favorite room. This is considered by Citizens to be an enclosed room, but it's still iffy because Citizens wanted to know if it's air conditioned," Trembley explained.
Trembley is used to fighting her insurance company on coverage and value of her mobile home, but there's one fight state lawmakers took care of for 35,000 policyholders.
"We actually found out by accident," Trembley explained.
In 2012, Citizens stopped insuring attached structures. In June, HB 573 became law requiring Citizens to cover cover car ports, screen enclosures, and patios.
"No-one I knew, knew anything about it," Trembley explained.
She said she never got a letter in the mail. Citizens said it's mailing letters to policyholders so everyone will know about this change.
"It makes me feel a lot more secure," Trembley explained.
To add the new coverage to your policy, you need to call your agent. Citizens said the coverage is known in the industry as Coverage A, so you may want to use those words when requesting the coverage midterm.
You can also call Citizens at 1-888-685-1555 for help.
If you got your Citizens policy after January 2012 when these structures were excluded, you will need to provide pictures to get the added coverage. You don't need pictures if you had your policy before the change.
HB 573, which is now law, also allows policyholders to reduce the limits on their policies to $3,000 instead of the $6,000 minimum that was in place. This will reduce your premium, but also your coverage.