Citizens Property Insurance review of 2022

Citizens property insurance is ideal for Florida homeowners who’ve struggled to find home insurance with a standard insurer. But its coverage options and customer service aren’t the best.

Jennifer Gimbel

By

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Who should choose Citizens home insurance?

  • Best for … Florida homeowners who’ve been denied home insurance coverage with traditional insurance companies. 

  • Look elsewhere if … you can qualify for home insurance with a standard insurer — you can likely find more affordable, robust coverage with better customer service elsewhere.

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What is Citizens home insurance?

Citizens insurance is Florida’s state-run insurance group that offers home insurance to Floridians who’ve been denied coverage on the private market. With over 900,000 active policies as of June 2022, Citizens is the largest home insurer in Florida — adding nearly 100,000 policies since the beginning of the year. [1]

As Florida’s version of the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, Citizens home insurance might be a good fit if you’ve struggled to qualify for coverage due to any of the following reasons:

  • Multiple past claims

  • Located in a high-risk coastal area

  • Roof is 15+ years old

  • Home is 50+ years old

  • Lapse in coverage

  • Poor or nonexistent credit score

Pat Howard 1600

Our licensed expert's take on Citizens

Pat Howard, licensed home insurance expert

"Although Citizens is often more expensive than home insurance through a traditional Florida company, it provides much-needed financial protection to homeowners who can't find coverage elsewhere. However, due to its limited coverage and high number of customer complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, this is best utilized as a last-resort insurance option."

"Although Citizens is often more expensive than home insurance through a traditional Florida company, it provides much-needed financial protection to homeowners who can't find coverage elsewhere. However, due to its limited coverage and high number of customer complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, this is best utilized as a last-resort insurance option."

Citizens home insurance eligibility requirements

To qualify for home insurance coverage from Citizens property insurance, you need to meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You were denied coverage from at least one standard Florida home insurance company

  • You qualified for homeowners insurance with a standard Florida insurer but it was 20% more expensive than a comparable policy with Citizens

Does Citizens insurance accept homes with old roofs?

You’ll typically need to replace your roof to be eligible for coverage if any of these apply to your home:

  • You have a tile, slate, clay, concrete, or metal roof 50+ years old

  • You have a shingle or other type of roof 25+ years old

  • You have a mobile home with a roof 25+ years old

Pros and cons of Citizens property insurance

Values logo

Pros

  • Covers high-risk homes that don’t qualify for coverage elsewhere

  • Wind-only policies available

  • Managed repair contractor network program

  • Free emergency water removal and drying services

  • 24/7/365 claims filing online or over the phone

Values logo

Cons

  • Annual rates are higher than standard insurers

  • Fewer coverage options and lower limits than competitors

  • No online quote tool

Average cost of Citizens homeowners insurance in Florida

The average cost of Citizens homeowners insurance in Florida is $3,024 per year or $252 per month, according to our analysis of Florida home insurance premiums provided by the Office of Insurance Regulation. [2]  

To put this into perspective, the average cost of Citizens home insurance is:

  • 13% higher than the state average ($2,643)

  • 37% higher than the national average ($1,899)

Citizens home insurance quote comparison

Here’s how Citizens home insurance premiums compare to competitors in the private insurance market, as of March 31, 2022.

Citizens home insurance coverage options

Citizens property insurance offers the six standard coverages that you’ll get with any private home insurance company.

Citizens coverage

What it is

Coverage limits

Dwelling

Pays for repairs to your home and attached structures when damaged by a covered peril

Can choose between:

Replacement cost: Covers the cost to completely rebuild your home and attached structures — regardless of depreciation

Actual cash value: Covers the cost to replace your home with a similar home of the same year, condition, and size — minus depreciation

Up to $700,000 (except for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where coverage is extended to $1 million)

Other structures

Pays for repairs to other structures on your property not attached to your home after a covered loss, like sheds, detached garages, or pool houses 

Up to 60% of your dwelling coverage limit

Personal property

Pays for damage to your personal property after a covered loss

Can choose between:

Replacement cost: Covers the cost to replace your belongings with new items — regardless of depreciation

Actual cash value: Covers the cost to replace your belongings — minus depreciation (wear & tear)

Up to 50% of your dwelling coverage limit

Additional living expenses

Covers the cost of rent, food, transportation, and other additional living expenses if you need to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired after a covered loss

Up to 10% of your dwelling coverage limit

Personal liability

Covers the cost of legal and medical bills if a guest is injured or their property is damaged while at your home and you’re found legally responsible for damages

Up to $100,000

Medical payments to others

Covers the cost of low-dollar medical bills if a guest is injured while at your home — regardless of who’s at fault

Up to $2,000

Additional coverage options available

Depending on your home and where you live, you might be able to add some of these additional coverage options — also known as endorsements — to your policy for an extra premium. One popular endorsement that you’ll notice Citizens insurance doesn’t offer is coverage for damage caused by water backup or sump overflow.

Additional coverage

What it is

Policy limits

Debris removal

Pays to remove fallen trees from your yard or a neighbor’s yard after a covered storm

$500

Trees, shrubs, and other plants

Pays to replace trees, shrubs, and plants damaged by fire, lightning, vandalism, theft, and more covered perils

Up to 5% of your dwelling limit for trees and plants — no more than $500 per plant

Fire department service charge

Covers fire department service fee if they come to your home to save covered property

$500

Credit or debit card, forgery, or counterfeit money

Covers loss resulting from the unauthorized use of your credit or debit cards

$500

Loss assessment

Pays for your share of what’s owed to your homeowners association after a collective loss is filed against members

$1,000

Fungi, mold, dry rot, or bacteria

Pays to remove and replace parts of your home and property that are damaged by mold

$10,000

Ordinance or law

Pays to rebuild your home up to code after a covered loss

25% of your dwelling coverage limit

Sinkhole loss

Covers structural damage to your home caused by sinkhole activity

Not listed online

→ Take a deeper dive into home insurance policy endorsements

Your carport, pool enclosure, and porch might not be covered

Citizens insurance doesn’t cover carports, porches or patios open to the weather, or pool enclosures if the roof is made of any of the following materials:

  • Aluminum

  • Fiberglass panels

  • Plastic

  • Vinyl

  • Fabric

  • Screening

It also doesn’t cover any gazebos, cabanas, pergolas, or other structures designed to be open to the weather.

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Citizens home insurance discounts

You might score lower rates if you qualify for any of these home insurance discounts from Citizens:

  • Multipolicy discount. Save on rates by taking out multiple policies with Citizens property insurance, which might include flood, sinkhole, windstorm, or standard home insurance coverage.

  • Superior construction discount. Homes with fire-resistant or wind-resistant construction might earn a premium discount.

  • Roof construction discount. Hip roofs, those with secondary water resistance shingles, and homes with roof-to-wall wraps could qualify for up to 29% off your yearly premiums.

  • Window shutters discount. Earn up to 16% off the wind portion of your annual premiums if you have hurricane-proof shutters on your windows. 

  • Protective devices discount. Save on premiums if your home is equipped with fire alarm, smoke alarm, or burglar alarm systems that are monitored by an outside company. 

  • Sprinkler system discount. Trim some money off of your rate if your yard is fit with a sprinkler system.

hurricane palm trees

In the news

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Kara McGinley • July 8, 2022

Row of houses in neighborhood

In the news

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Citizens property insurance customer reviews

  • Better Business Bureau rating: 3 out of 5 stars

  • Consumer Affairs rating: 1.7 out of 5 stars

  • NAIC complaints: 872 complaints filed in 2021

Citizens property insurance doesn’t have the best customer reviews on third-party sites including the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs as of June 2022. Chief complaints revolve around rude customer service representatives and claims adjusters, difficulty getting claims processed and paid out, and expensive rate hikes at time of renewal.  

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also received a large number of complaints surrounding Citizens property insurance last year. [3] Here’s a breakdown of the number of complaints filed with the NAIC in 2021 broken down by reason:

Reason for complaint

Number of NAIC complaints in 2021

Claims handling

758 complaints

Underwriting

84 complaints

Policyholder services

26 complaints

Marketing & sales

5 complaints

Why does Citizens insurance have such bad reviews?

One reason for this negative customer sentiment of Citizens insurance is likely due to the sheer volume of policies the insurance company writes in Florida each year. 

A licensed property insurance agent in Florida who asked not to be named had this to say about Citizens property insurance and the state of the insurance industry in Florida: 

“Citizens was designed to be the insurer of last resort, but because the insurance industry in Florida is so volatile and unpredictable, it has now become the recycling bin for all of the policies that are being canceled or homeowners who no longer qualify for coverage from bigger companies due to their stricter underwriting guidelines. It’s a mess — there’s a surplus of people needing insurance and not enough carriers that will take them.”

Citizens property insurance deductible options

Your Citizens home insurance policy might come with several different deductibles depending on the coverages you purchase:

  • All perils deductible: Choose a fixed-dollar amount deductible that applies for damage caused by covered perils other than named hurricanes, windstorms, or sinkholes.

  • Hurricane deductible: Choose from a hurricane deductible that’s $500 (only for homes insured for less than $100,000) or 2%, 5%, or 10% of the insured value of your home. This applies to damage caused by a hurricane and is only paid once during a calendar year — regardless of how many hurricanes damaged your home.

  • Other windstorm deductible: For wind-only policies, this is usually a fixed-dollar deductible that applies for damage caused by a windstorm, tropical storm, tornado, or hail that is not a named hurricane.

  • Sinkhole deductible: Usually 10% of the insured value of your home — applied solely for damage caused by sinkholes.

Do I need an inspection to get Citizens insurance in Florida?

Citizens might require your home to undergo an inspection — or multiple ones — though it varies depending on the type of coverage you’re purchasing, discounts you’re trying to get, how old your home is, and where your home is located. 

Here are a few different types of inspections you might be required to get, including whether you or Citizens will cover the cost.

Type of inspection

When it's required

Who pays for it

Exterior inspection

Varies — sometimes required to determine home’s replacement value, if you qualify for coverage, or to spot potential issues before they become problems

Citizens

Interior inspection

Varies — sometimes required to determine home’s replacement value, if you qualify for coverage, or to spot potential issues before they become problems

Citizens

Four-point inspection

If your home is more than 20 years old

Homeowner

High-value home inspection

If your home is valued at $650,000 or more

Homeowner

Roof inspection

If your roof is older than 25 years old (for shingle roofs) or 50 years old (for tile, slate, clay, concrete, or metal roofs)

Homeowner

Wind mitigation inspection

If you’re trying to qualify for wind mitigation discounts

Homeowner

Sinkhole inspection

If you’re trying to purchase additional sinkhole loss coverage and either answer “yes” to questions on its application or live in one of the following counties: Alachua, Citrus, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, Sumter, Suwannee, Wakulla, or Washington

Homeowner

How do I sign up for a policy with Citizens property insurance?

To submit an application for a home insurance policy with Citizens insurance, you’ll first need to prove that you were unable to find coverage with a standard home insurance company or that the coverage you did qualify for was 20% more expensive than a similar policy with Citizens.

You can enter your ZIP code and click on the Start calculator button to get connected with a licensed Policygenius insurance agent who can help you compare quotes from different companies to see if Citizens is right for you.

Compare rates and shop affordable home insurance today

We don't sell your information to third parties.

How do I file a claim with Citizens home insurance?

Citizens offers the option to file a claim over the phone or online 24/7/365.

How to file a claim online with Citizens

  1. Log in to your Citizens account through myPolicy.

  2. Navigate to the Claims tab.

  3. Click Report a Claim to start the claims process.

How to file a claim over the phone with Citizens

  1. Call the Citizens claims hotline at 866-411-2742.

  2. Make sure you have the following information on hand: Your policy number, your contact information, damage description, and your mortgage company information (if applicable).

If you don’t have all of the information for your claim available or still aren’t sure the severity of the damage, Citizens encourages homeowners to still begin the claims process. A Citizens representative will work with you to help you fill in any missing information.

What other insurance policies does Citizens offer?

Aside from standard HO-3 home insurance policies, Citizens offers the following types of policies:

Compare rates and shop affordable home insurance today

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Citizens insurance phone number?

The phone number for the Citizens insurance customer care center is 866-411-2742. Customer service reps are available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET on weekdays.

How do I log in to my Citizens insurance account?

To log in to your Citizens insurance account, go to the Citizens insurance website and click MyPolicy in the top navigation bar. You’ll then need to enter your username and password to sign into your account.

How much notice will Citizens give you if they plan to not renew your policy?

Citizens insurance is required by law to give you either 45 or 120 days notice of nonrenewal before the expiration date of your policy — it all depends on the reason for the nonrenewal.

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. ABC Action News

    . "

    Citizens insurance denied expected rate increases as more companies halt new policies

    ." Accessed June 30, 2022.

  2. Office of Insurance Regulation

    . "

    Quarterly and Supplemental Reporting System - Next Generation (QUASRng)

    ." Accessed June 30, 2022.

  3. National Association of Insurance Commissioners

    . "

    NAIC Complaint Index

    ." Accessed June 30, 2022.

Author

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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