Citizens tries a newsletter
In the wake of property insurance reform, Florida carriers are becoming more proactive in their communication with policyholders, in an effort to reduce costly litigation. The idea is not just to better educate consumers about their policies, but inform them of helpful alternatives to the bad actors in getting their legitimate claims efficiently paid. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is the latest, with the launch of an innovative newsletter.
The first quarterly Citizens Policyholder Newsletter was sent earlier this month to all policyholders with email on file, as well as to their agents. It’s also available via the Citizens website homepage, under the News tab. The first newsletter focused on storm preparation as the Atlantic hurricane season gets underway, but contains lighter fare, including cooking recipes!
In the opening of the newsletter’s first edition, Citizens President & CEO Barry Gilway writes: “Property insurance can be complicated. Part of our goal is to give you a little more insight into how insurance works and how it affects you on an individual level. The market is changing quickly and it’s easy to get confused. We plan to keep you informed about Citizens as well as provide perspective into larger trends across the insurance industry that sometimes make the headlines.”
Also included in the newsletter is a reminder of Citizens Managed Repair Program (MRP), Call Citizens First¸ with the 24-hour toll free number and a brief description of how the program works. It includes a link to its colorful Reporting a Claim in Four Easy Steps brochure. The MRP is one of the tools Citizens is using to ensure customer satisfaction and a reduction in litigated/disputed claims. It has two components: the free Water Mitigation Services and the Permanent Repair Services.
The MRP customer satisfaction rate is rising and there was discussion at its February Claims Committee meeting of Citizens freely sharing this propriety program with other insurance companies in Florida. The knowledge and techniques Citizens has employed can help other carriers bring down litigation costs, too. Citizens reports its litigation decreased by 20% in 2020 compared to the year prior vs. other carriers increasing by almost 1%.
Barry Gilway noted then “When we do have a MRP claim, we literally have no litigation following. When you think about it, that’s staggering. When implemented effectively, it can have a direct impact on litigation and that’s why I truly believe we’re showing so much improvement relative to the rest of the industry. And we do have some unique elements to our program, such as the free water mitigation program. No one else I’m aware of, has that. It’s a compelling program when you explain it to a policyholder and use it effectively.”
LMA Newsletter of 6-14-21