Fla. Gov. Signs Citizens’ Rate Freeze at Home of Katrina Victims

June 27, 2007

In Miami, Florida Governor Charlie Crist ceremonially signed legislation to continue insurance reforms by freezing Citizens Property Insurance rates and implementing additional measures he said will help stabilize the insurance market.

Senate Bill 2498 freezes Citizens Property Insurance Corp. rates until January 1, 2009, and allows Floridians to purchase Citizens coverage if the cost of private insurance would be 15 percent more than a comparable Citizens policy.

The bill also promises to increase transparency by requiring Florida subsidiaries to report the parent company’s profits.

“This legislation is another important step in the right direction for Florida’s homeowners,” Crist said. “I am grateful to the members of the Florida Legislature for renewing their commitment to providing broad-based, meaningful and comprehensive insurance reform for the people of Florida.”

Crist signed the legislation at the home of Rafael and Susanna Rodriguez. The Rodriguezes are an elderly couple whose roof was damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Initially, the couple filed a claim with their insurance company and repaired some of the damage, but certain areas of the roof are still leaking.

Crist said the legislation signed will help the Rodriguezes by creating coverage options as well as stability in the Florida insurance marketplace.

“Thanks to the great work of the Florida Legislature, Rafael and Susanna can be secure in their retirement,” Crist said. “They can rest assured that if private insurers do not offer affordable coverage, then Citizens will.”

Crist officially signed Senate Bill 2498 into law on June 11, 2007. The Governor was joined at the ceremonial bill signing in Miami by bill sponsors Senator Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Representative Julio Robaina, R-Miami.

Source: Office of the Governor of Florida

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