Rate increase for Citizens Property Insurance approved

1:31 PM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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(News-Press) -- The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation released its decision on Citizens Property Insurance Corp. rate filings.

Citizens will have a 10.8 percent rate increase for homeowners. It had requested an 11.8 percent increase. For dwelling fire rates, it will see an increase of 8.8 percent although it had requested a 12 percent increase.

"I would like to express my gratitude to all those who provided input for the Citizens rate filing, especially as we considered the impact of proposed substantial rate increases for specific areas within the state," stated Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty in the press release. "The final rates indicate a more reasonable approach toward moving a significant portion of Florida's demographic to actuarially-supported rates. Our primary goal is to ensure Citizens policyholders are treated fairly and retain an opportunity to return back to a robust private insurance market as the Florida Legislature intended."

Jeremy Totten, president of The Martel Agency in Fort Myers, said most insurance carriers are taking rate increases, but Citizens' increases tend to be larger.

Its last rate increase made Citizens more competitive with other admitted insurance carriers, but this is "going to make it where they are definitely going to be more expensive," he said, adding that this will hopefully persuade more people to get out of Citizens.

He said the increase in sinkhole coverage is because, in the last few years, people have been turning in illegitimate sinkhole claims. Most insurance companies require customers to add sinkhole coverage to their standard insurance plan, and Totten said customers should check to see if their policy includes sinkhole coverage.

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