22 Feb Citizens Property Insurance Requests Another Rate Hike
Citizens Property Insurance Requests Another Rate Hike
The Miami Herald reported in June, “That drip, drip, drip you hear is the cost of your homeowners insurance rising.”
Mary Ellen Klas, of The Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau, reports that, “South Florida homeowners insured by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will likely see annual premiums rise by more than 10 percent next year if the rate increase requested on Tuesday is approved.”
The story quotes Barry Gilway, president and CEO of Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort and the second-largest holder of property insurance in Florida — behind Universal Property & Casualty, as saying, “The horizon looks really cloudy out there.”
Klas goes on to say:
“He was not referring to the start of what is expected to be an active hurricane season. Instead, he said, the soaring rates in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are because of something regulators have been unable to track: excessive water damage claims buoyed by homeowners who assign their claims to a contractor doing the repairs, giving the contractor — and often the aggressive law firms they hire — the right to collect payments directly from the insurance company.”
If approved by state regulators, the statewide residential rate increases will average 5.3 percent, but because each policy is based on the homeowner’s risk, no one pays exactly the average. The company wants an average rate increase of 10.5 percent for Miami-Dade, 10.4 percent for Broward, 9.3 percent for Palm Beach and 3.8 percent for Monroe.
It’s a problem affecting not only Citizens, but most other insurers, too, and it has been mounting for years. For the third year in a row, the Florida Legislature left Tallahassee last session without doing anything to address the problem.”
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