Citizens Insurance Faces Potential Class Action Lawsuit on Wind Mitigation Credits By Tod Aronovitz | 03/06/13 | 0 Comment

A recent hot topic has been a lawsuit filed against Citizens Property Insurance Corporation that seeks class action status.

The lawsuit alleges that Citizens purposely re-inspected homes to deprive their customers of windstorm mitigation discounts. In the past, Citizens promised their customers that if they took extra precautions to mitigate damages in the case of a storm, such as putting up hurricane shutters, they would receive credits that would last for five years.

However, the lawsuit alleges that before the five years were up, Citizens in essence “changed the rules” by sending their own inspectors to re-inspect and proceeded to revoke credits on technicalities. Inadequate attic access was one of the reasons that Citizens gave to their customers to remove their mitigation credits.

An estimated $190 million in credits were allegedly lost, causing an increase of approximately $800 in premiums per household. When Citizens’ customers complained about the fairness of these re-inspections, Citizens attempted to follow up inspections at no charge. However, the final result was that Citizens would not return premiums retroactively. Attorneys for the Plaintiffs argue that the credits should be reinstated.

It is also alleged that Citizens misrepresents property values in an effort to raise premiums on customers. Since Citizens is the largest insurance provider in Florida, it needed to reduce its overall liability in case of a major catastrophe. The Florida Legislature is in the process of trying to reform the state’s largest property insurer.

Citizens is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt government corporation whose public purpose is to provide insurance protection to Florida property owners throughout the state. It was founded by the legislature in 2002 to help homeowners who could not get private insurance. Today, it is the largest property insurance company in the State of Florida, with nearly 1.3 million customers.

In separate actions, Citizens Property Insurance has come under scrutiny recently on claims of excessive spending and inappropriate employee behavior. Citizens’ top auditor recently released results of a comprehensive review of 474 internal investigations, including a determination that all complaints were addressed properly.

About ARONOVITZ LAW

The Miami, Florida consumer class action law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW pursues justice for Florida consumers who have been injured by the wrongful actions or omissions of another individual, government agency, or corporation. We can assist you with civil litigation, consumer class action litigation, whistleblower cases, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death.

Contact Miami attorney Tod Aronovitz for a confidential discussion of your case.