Fla. Gov. Signs Bill to Extend Citizens Rate Freeze

June 13, 2007

A bill extending a rate freeze for customers of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and factoring in national profits when setting premiums for other insurance companies became law Monday with Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature.

It also would prevent national property insurance companies from setting up Florida-only subsidiaries. Crist says that lets them seek higher rates by claiming they are losing money here even though making a profit nationally. It won’t, though, affect companies that already have such subsidiaries.

The new law was one of Crist’s top priorities, but it was among the last bills lawmakers passed during the regular legislative session that ended May 4.

The measure’s most immediate effect will be the rate freeze extension through the end of 2008 for state-created Citizens, which has become the state’s largest property insurer. The Legislature in January had frozen the rates through the end of 2007.

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