By Ezra Amacher

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Citizens Property Insurance Corp. president Barry Gilway said at a Wednesday board of governors meeting that the organization is considering “all ideas to reduce exposure” as policies mount by the thousands.

Gilway said Citizens is accepting policies at a rate of 5,000-6,000 per week as private market insurers withdraw coverage amid significant losses.

Citizen’s policy count is on pace exceed 760,000 by the end of the year, which could push the company’s exposure growth to more than $230 billion.

“I think it would be optimistic to consider that we are going to get any significant depopulation activity until probably the second or third quarter of next year,” Gilway said.

Created by the Florida legislature as the insurer of last resort, Citizens provides insurance to property owners unable to find coverage in the private market.

Gilway said the increase in policies has already had an impact on staffing, particularly at Citizens’ call center where calls have increased to more than 86,000 per month, up 59% from 2020.

At a Tuesday Exposure Reduction Committee meeting, Citizens officials offered proposals that would refer potential policyholders to the private market.

Any such proposals would likely have to go through the Florida legislature, which reconvenes in January 2022.

“At this point, everything is on the table as we try hard to support the development of a stronger private insurance market and stabilize the role of Citizens as the market of last resort,” said Nelson Telemaco, chairman of Citizens’ Exposure Reduction Committee.