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Citizens Insurance calls for 14% rate hike

If approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation, the increase would take effect Nov. 1.
Property insurance
Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-29 19:53:58-04

Leaders of the state’s insurers last resort approved a recommendation to raise average rates of Citizens Property Insurance by 14.2% this year.

As Florida’s property insurance crisis grew in the last few years, so too did Citizens.

The state-run insurance provider has tripled in size the last three years, with more than 1.2 million policies.

“The larger we grow the greater our exposure; the greater our exposure and the greater the protentional financial burden on the taxpayers of Florida,” said Citizens President and CEO Tim Cerio, who said the insurer needs to return to a smaller role in the insurance marketplace.

The increase, if approved by the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation, would go into effect Nov. 1st.

According to county-by-county data released by Citizens ahead of the vote, Collier County policy holders would see an average yearly premium increase of $508.

Lee County policy holders can expect an average increase of $400, while Charlotte is just under at $390.

“We get calls and emails from Floridians who cannot afford their property insurance, are having to leave their home, and become homeless because they can’t afford where they live,” said Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, who urged the legislature to focus more on making the Sunshine state more affordable.

As part of the state’s goal of pushing policy holders back into the private market, a new state law requires customers to get quotes from a private insurance company.

Starting April 1st, when a customer gets their renewal letter in the mail they will have to shop around.

If the quote from the private company is within 20% of the quote from Citizens, the police holder is forced, by law, to go with the private company.

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