How does Kin compare to Citizens?

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a ranch-style Florida home

Kin Insurance vs. Citizens Property Insurance

If you’re like most Floridians, especially those with homes near the coast, you’re probably familiar with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Established in 2002 by the state government, Citizens is a state-run insurer that offers coverage for those who can’t get homeowners insurance in Florida on the private market.

Citizens are a necessary safety net for many homeowners, but it’s important to remember that state-run providers are designed and intended to be the option of last resort.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re comparing Kin’s coverage to Citizens.

Why Citizens Insurance may be cheaper than Kin

Citizens Insurance may be cheaper than Kin in certain cases for several reasons. The first is simply that every insurance company has its own formula to calculate premiums for homeowners. Where one company may not hesitate to insure, say, an older home, another might see the same structure as risky and charge the owner a higher premium.

Another potentially more significant reason Citizens is sometimes cheaper is because it’s backed by the state so it doesn’t have to fully buy reinsurance like private insurance companies do. For instance, Citizens purchased only 76% of the reinsurance it had planned on getting in 2022 because it found the price unreasonable. That’s not an option for a private insurer like Kin.

Additionally, state law limits the amount of premium Citizens may charge as well as how much it can raise rates. This helps Citizens keep rates low, but it also creates a shortfall that could prove troublesome in a catastrophe.

Understand how assessments work

Because Citizens is a not-for-profit insurer, it puts about 83 percent of every premium dollar toward claims and 15 percent specifically toward paying hurricane claims. Though that leaves a considerable reserve, an intense storm can easily exceed it. When that happens, Florida law requires Citizens to charge an assessment to cover the remaining damages.

All Florida policyholders are required to pay an assessment when a widespread disaster strikes and leaves the state-run provider at a deficit. However, Citizens policyholders are charged first and pay the brunt of the additional charges. Citizens policyholders pay up to 45% of their premium. If the shortfall still exists after that, private policyholders will only pay up to 2% in assessment charges.

That’s why, in the words of Citizens, “The true cost of a Citizens policy can increase dramatically following a major disaster.”

So say you’re looking at a $1,000 Citizens policy versus a $1,000 Kin policy.

Premium comparison guide

Citizens  Kin 
Total yearly premium $1,000 $1,000
Potential assessment percentage 45% 2%
Potential assessment total $450 $20
True policy cost $1,450 $1,020

You’d end up paying a lot more for Citizens coverage if you’re assessed.

It’s also worth noting this assessment doesn’t include an emergency assessment, a separate charge of up to 30% of your premium that can be levied over the course of several years. It applies for all Florida policyholders in an emergency, but again, it means Citizens policyholders bear most of the financial burden to help the state recover after a disaster.

Expect additional surcharges

Some surcharges apply to every home insurance policy sold in Florida. All policyholders pay the $2 Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Trust Fund (EMPA) fee. Plus, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Assessment is paid by all insurers to restore the fund if an emergency depletes it.

But Citizens applies these additional surcharges to its home insurance policies:

  • Catastrophe Financing Surcharge

  • Tax-Exempt Surcharge of 1.75%

Alternatives to Citizens Insurance in Florida 

For Floridians who prefer not to use Citizens, there are other options. The most common alternative is to buy insurance from a private insurance company like Kin. Another option may be to self-insure. This is only a realistic alternative if you don’t have a mortgage but do have the resources to cover losses after a disaster strikes, including costs like rebuilding your home, temporary housing, and other incidentals.

Optional coverages available on Kin

Whereas a Citizens HO3 policy does offer standard coverages to protect your home, other structures, belongings, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments, like Kin, it doesn’t allow for as much customization.

For example, Kin offers these optional coverages in Florida (Citizens does not):

Is Citizens a good insurance company? 

Citizens can be a good option for homeowners in some cases. Specifically, Citizens can only offer policies to people when:

  • They can’t get coverage from a Florida-authorized insurer.

  • Premiums for coverage from Florida-authorized insurers are more than 20% higher than the premiums for comparable coverage from Citizens.

But as the above situations indicate, Citizens is truly an insurer of last resort. You can only get its coverage if you have no other options or you’ve been priced out of the market.

To learn more about our coverage options, be sure to get a quote online or give us a call at 855-717-0022.


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