WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is supposed to be the insurer of last resort, but the agency has come under fire for having too many policyholders.
Citizens is required to get rid of some customers. They do this with takeout programs.
More than 400,000 Citizen policyholders may get letters by the end of the year telling them about the takeout program, which transfers their policy to another company.
The incredible view of the Intracoastal attracted Mike Ezekiel to his home, but the view of most insurance companies is that this home is too risky to insure.
That's why he has state-backed Citizens Insurance.
"I think that's great we're getting additional choices, but it's not like I can go out and shop it," said Ezekiel.
Ten companies will offer takeouts in November, but you can't decide which insurer you want.
The company is choosing the homeowners.
"There's no quote process. There's no pricing information, there's no this is the coverage you're going to have," said Ezekiel.
Citizens says consumers will get benefits by transferring their policy to the more competitive, private market.
You may get lower premiums and more comprehensive coverage
But nothing is guaranteed; including the price. Citizens is giving estimates for premiums with the private takeout company, but it could change at renewal based on several factors. You can call 1-888-685-1555 for a price quote with the new company.
"Even with my agent, when I called him I said what would you do he said honestly it's 50/50," said Ezekiel.
The first batch of takeout policies take effect November 5th, but read your mail carefully because the deadlines vary.
Ezekiel feels people may miss the deadline.
"If you see some notification from your insurer or from Citizens make sure you read it. It's not just a policy change or minor change that you're being involved in. It's a big decision," said Ezekiel.
You need to mail back the opt out form if you don't want your policy transferred.
November is usually the beginning of takeout programs that typically last through February.
If you miss the opt-out deadline, your policy will be transferred to the new company.
However, you will have another 30 days to go back to Citizens.
Historically, about 30-percent of policyholders choose to stay with Citizens.