USAA Casualty, which primarily insures military personnel and their families, has asked the state to increase its homeowner and condominium premiums by an average of 40 percent.
The company made the request last Friday to the state Office of Insurance Regulation. USAA insures more than 280,000 people in Florida, according to the OIR.
USAA and two of Florida’s five largest insurers — State Farm Florida Insurance Co. and Nationwide Insurance Co. of Florida — have previously asked to raise premiums because of reinsurance. Reinsurance is insurance coverage for insurance companies, to help pay claims after a catastrophe.
State regulators approved State Farm’s rate hike last month. USAA received an average 8 percent rate increase earlier this year.
“Reinsurance plays into the equation, but (the new increase is) also looking at anticipated future losses and rising construction costs,” said USAA spokeswoman Lynne McChristian.
Reinsurance prices skyrocketed and coverage availability shrank after Hurricane Katrina last year, and the market is unlikely to improve soon, said Bob Lotane, a spokesman for Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.
“That being said, a couple of years of good weather will probably make things a lot brighter,” Lotane said.
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