Insurers have taken nearly 400,000 policies out of the state-run Citizens Property, considerably reducing its exposure.
Fourteen Florida-based insurers have taken 361,324 homeowners' policies from state-run Citizens Property Insurance, reducing Citizens' exposure to hurricane claims by nearly $100 billion.
Another 25,000 policies are expected to exit Citizens by the end of the year.
Reducing Citizens' policy count is desirable because it reduces the company's exposure to hurricane risk and future claims. Yet, the insurer still holds the riskiest policies in the state: 253,785 windstorm policies along the coast in South Florida. Those policies add up to $134 billion in potential hurricane claims.
The bulk of the policies sent to so-called ''take-out'' insurers came from South Florida, including 71,506 policies in Miami-Dade County and another 61,053 in Broward.
Generally, these smaller firms take out policies with no windstorm coverage along coastal areas, but so far this year Citizens has ceded 19,999 homeowners' policies that included wind coverage.
At least one of the take-out insurers is focusing on condo association insurance policies, and so Citizens is able to get off its books 601 of those policies.
At the end of November, Citizens had 1,093,138 policies on its books, representing $411.7 billion in exposure.
Three companies accounted for the bulk of the take-out policies: 116,040 by Magnolia Insurance, based in Key Biscayne; 57,217 policies by Homeowners Choice, based in Port St. Lucie, and 48,217 policies by Florida Peninsula, based in Boca Raton.
Consumers and regulators have some concern about the financial stability of these small companies that are taking policies out of Citizens.
Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, has asked Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to report to the Jan. 13 Cabinet meeting on his agency's evaluation of the financial solvency of these companies.
''We are relying on the Office of Insurance Regulation to perform the necessary due diligence around the financial strength and solvency issues,'' said Sink in a letter to McCarty asking for the presentation.
At a Citizens board committee meeting in Jacksonville Thursday, Citizens' chief financial officer Sharon Binnun said the takeouts are reducing the premiums collected by the company. She noted that many of the policies leaving include some of Citizens' larger policies with higher premiums.
Homeowners who receive an offer from a takeout insurer don't have to accept it if they would like to remain with Citizens.
Takeout companies are required to keep the policies they assume from Citizens for three years. Citizens has paid a bonus to takeout companies in the past, but not now.