State-Backed Citizens Property Insurance Expects to Get 30,000 New Policies

Fountain pen and a property/liability claim form on a clipboard waiting to be completed, filled and signed by a policyholder or insured person. Photo and Caption: William Potter/

Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. revealed they are expecting to have an increase of approximately 30,000 new policies in 2020. This is according to Citizens Insurance President and CEO Barry Gilway. Gilway presented his findings in a report presented to the Citizens Board of Governors on Wednesday, June 24.

This is the first time since 2015 that Citizens has topped 500,000 policies. Since the company’s effort began four years ago to try to move the policies from a public to private insurance market, they have been able to maintain a year-end policy count between 427,392 and 455,843. The state-backed insurer surpassed expectations with high numbers of policies at year’s end.

Back in 2012, Citizens Insurance reached its peak with 1.31 million policies. In Gilway’s report on Wednesday, there were “property problems” that were pointed out. The problems were said to be causing private insurers to not be able to write enough for the amount of coverage they are able to offer. Issues in the private insurance industry were the reasons stated by Gilway in his report about why the company has not been able to move forward in the private market. Also, he cited higher costs for re-insurance (essentially, insurance for insurers) and litigation trends.

Citizens Property Insurance President and CEO Barry Gilway. Photo:

Barry Gilway has served as Citizens’ President, CEO and Executive Director since June 2012, where he oversees all operations and serves as liaison to Citizens’ Board of Governors. Gilway is an accomplished insurance executive with 46 plus years background in insurance, including CEO of Zurich Canada, Executive VP of Zurich North America, CEO of Maryland Casualty Companies and Executive VP of Crum and Forster, along with additional senior management positions.

About Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Citizens was created by the Florida Legislature in August 2002 as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, government entity to provide property insurance to eligible Florida property owners unable to find insurance coverage in the private market. Citizens is funded by policyholder premiums; however, Florida law also requires that Citizens levy assessments on most Florida policyholders if it experiences a deficit in the wake of a particularly devastating storm or series of storms.

Citizens operate according to statutory requirements established by the Florida Legislature and are governed by a Board of Governors. The board administers a Plan of Operation approved by the Florida Financial Services Commission, an oversight panel made up of the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General and Commissioner of Agriculture.

To learn more about the other types of insurance they offer, please visit the Citizens Property Insurance website. To learn more about how homeowners insurance works, please watch this video from the Insurance Information Institute.