Citizens to Seek Additional Hikes in Fla. Windstorm Premiums

November 19, 2006

Customers of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance could see rate increases for their windstorm and homeowners policies under a recommendation made this week to the company’s board.

Citizens’ actuarial and underwriting committee members agreed last week to recommend that it seek the rate increase to comply with new requirements in state law about how the company sets its rates.

The change would result in a rate increase of 55.8 percent for wind-only policies next year. People with full homeowners policies would also see increases, but they would be less than 10 percent on average.

The proposed increases would be on top of the 25.9 percent increase on average that Citizens is already set to collect starting Jan. 1.

Citizens Property Insurance was created by lawmakers in 2002 to provide hurricane wind insurance for Florida residents who can’t find a private insurance company to cover their house. It’s become the state’s largest home insurer, covering nearly everyone who lives along the coast.

The recommendation will be made to the full board next month. If the board agrees to file for the higher rates, the rate request would go before regulators at the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Commercial policies could go up even more under the proposal, although that change isn’t related to the law passed earlier this year that changed the way Citizens figures its rates.

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