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State Approves Citizens Rate Hikes For 2017

Florida Fish and Wildlife
Flooding affected residents along the Florida gulf coast, including the Anclote River, after Hurricane Hermine passed through the state a few weeks ago.

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation on Friday approved most of the changes requested by Citizens Property Insurance.

The new rates will go into effect on Feb. 1, 2017, and a majority of Florida homeowners should expect a rate increase next-year from the state-backed insurer.

Citizens requested the increase primarily to cover a surge in water-damage claims. A rate hearing was held on Aug. 18 in Tallahassee.

Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier adjusted down the request on homeowners’ multi-peril accounts from 6.8 percent to 6.4 percent, but regulators approved the rest of Citizens’ requests without change. Under the rates approved Friday, homeowners’ wind-only insurance in coastal areas will increase an average 8.2 percent and mobile homeowners’ multi-peril accounts will go up by 5.7 percent.

The actual premium change for individual policyholders depends on a number of factors, including the coverage amounts and property location.

Citizens projects that, of its 492,775 personal and commercial policies in place as of Sept. 9, about 100,000 will see rate reductions next year.

The review comes after Monroe County officials and residents in the Florida Keys sought a delay on wind-storm policies. Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, who has backed legislation that would scale back the size of Citizens, called the hike a “slap in the face” of consumers. 

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