PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) -- A class action lawsuit has been filed against the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. alleging the company deprived customers of windstorm mitigation discounts through an arbitrary re-inspection program.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs estimated Thursday that 226,000 customers have lost nearly $200 million in credits since 2010.
Citizens gave wind mitigation credits to homeowners who hardened their homes against storm damage. The credits were supposed to last five years.
But the lawsuit alleges Citizens changed the rules mid-game, embarking on a systematic re-inspection campaign that revoked millions of dollars in credits and was designed to increase customers' premiums. It has been a particularly heated issue in South Florida where a large chunk of Citizens' 1.4 million policyholders live.
Citizens said in a statement that the re-inspections were conducted under statutory authority.