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Insurance Regulators Approve Most Citizens Rate Hikes

Credit Nick Evans

State regulators have approved rate hikes for the Citizens property insurance company.  The state-backed insurer will increase premiums in response to water loss claims.

Florida’s insurer of last resort is busy fulfilling claims related to Hurricane Hermine—the first time it has needed to respond to a hurricane in more than a decade.  But at its rate hearing last month Citizens President Barry Gilway explained even without a storm, water claims are driving costs higher.

“Since 2013, non-weather water claims have risen sharply—affecting both private insurers and Citizens,” Gilway complained.

At the same hearing Office of Insurance Regulation chief David Altmaier said his office could adjust Citizens’ rate requests.

“We certainly have some actuaries that will go through their analysis and look at the numbers and the indications,” Altmaier explained.  “Actuaries develop ranges for rates and we look at what their indication is and we look at that compared to our ranges we may make some adjustments.”

In the end, OIR approved rate hikes for every insurance line but one.  Regulators gave citizens a 6.4 percent increase for multi-peril home policies.  Citizens requested a 6.9 percent bump.

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