Citizens Property Insurance Corporation returned nearly $310,000 in refunds directly to affected policyholders in 2014 as part of efforts that recovered claims payments of $4.9 million by pursuing reimbursement from product manufacturers, contractors and other third parties responsible for the losses.
As the state’s non-profit insurer of last resort, Citizens’ recovery efforts in 2014 had a direct impact on keeping premiums as affordable as possible while ensuring that Citizens policyholders receive all they are entitled to.
“The funds we recover either go to individual policyholders directly or are set aside to boost Citizens’ surplus to benefit all Florida policyholders,” said Kay Weldon, Citizens Claims Manager overseeing recovery efforts.
Citizens’ recovery unit was established in 2009. Its eight employees are charged with reviewing claim losses that appear to be the fault of someone other than Citizens’ policyholder. Common causes for recovery include defective products, improper installation and negligent actions of other responsible parties.
The recovery unit surpassed its 2014 goal of $3.3 million by more than 30 percent by taking back more than $12,000 per claim in 2014 compared to its rate of more than $10,000 per claim in 2013.
Citizens’ ability to recover against parties that caused or contributed to losses sustained by our policyholders gave Citizens the ability to refund a total of $309,335 in deductibles on 383 claims in 2014. Affected policyholders received an average refund on their deductibles of more than $800.
Among the Recovery unit’s success stories were:
- Recovering $100,000 when the Citizens’ origin-and-cause expert found a void created in the chimney when repairs were made. Citizens recovered 59 percent of its claims payout of $168,357.
- Recovering more than $68,000 – 100 percent of its claims payout – when another carrier accepted liability in a case in which a driver lost control of a truck and hit an electrical transformer connected to a building that caught fire.
- Recovering more than $15,000 from a water damage claim when a refrigerator manufacturer agreed to pay a settlement after Citizens determined the leak resulted from a cracked drain pan of a 6-month old refrigerator at a townhome.
Source: Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
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