TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Citizens Property Insurance Corporation says it has heard your complaints about its inconsistent inspection program and is making changes to try to satisfy customers.
The state-run insurer has been inspecting customers' homes over the past year to make sure they're eligible for premium credits available to people who harden their homes against storms.
But most homeowners are losing credits as a result of the inspections and their rates are going up. That has generated more than $100 million for the company and angered customers.
Now Citizens' new president Barry Gilway is changing the program to try to make it fairer.
The company is making it easier for customers to dispute the findings of an inspection. Plus, Gilway says customers can get a free re-inspection if they disagree with the results of the first one.
Gilway says customers should get the credits they deserve.
"We want to get the credits to them. That's what ultimately reduces our exposure. That's what will obviously have the biggest effect on our customers' premium so we absolutely need to do that."
Gilway has been on the job at Citizens about two months. He says he hopes the new changes show he's trying to make the company more consumer-friendly.
"I'm hopeful that our discussion today is reflective in really a change of direction and the fact that we are making every attempt to listen and learn and improve."
The company has not decided yet if it will offer the changes to homeowners who already lost credits.
Gilway says he developed the changes for the inspection program after taking input from customers, consumer groups, state lawmakers, as well as the offices of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott.
First Coast News