Hefty rate increases approved for Citizens
Insurance customers in South Florida
Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel
December 8, 2017
Hurricane Irma delayed approval of Citizens Property
Insurance Corp.’s newest round of rate increases for three months, but
the day of reckoning has arrived for the state-run company’s South
Rates for most of the company’s
92,891 multiperil policyholders in Broward, Miami-Dade
and Palm Beach counties will increase by 10 percent or
more beginning May 1.
The hefty increases, blamed on excessive claims and
lawsuits by South Florida repair vendors and attorneys,
follow similar increases in 2017 and smaller hikes the
Citizens, the so-called insurer of last resort, has
warned of perpetual 10 percent increases if state
lawmakers don’t enact reforms to quell what it says are
Statewide, coverage for Citizens’ multiperil insurance
will increase 6.6 percent.
As of Sept. 30, Citizens had 452,394 policies in all of
Florida and 228,795 in the tricounty region.
Statewide average rates for condominium owners will
increase by an average of 7.6 percent for multiperil
coverage and 5.7 percent for wind-only coverage.
Rates for most of the company’s 92,891 multiperil
policyholders in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties
will increase by 10 percent or more beginning May 1.
Mobile home owners will pay an average 3.9 percent
increase for multiperil coverage and 9.8 percent for wind-only coverage.
Rates for renters will decrease by an average 13 percent for multiperil
coverage and by an average 4.4 percent for wind-only policies.
Dwelling fire coverage, generally purchased by property owners who rent
out to others, will increase an average 5.2 percent for multiperil
coverage and 4.6 percent for wind-only coverage.
Approval by the state Office of Insurance Regulation of Citizens’ new
rates, which has generally taken place in September, was delayed by a
directive from Gov. Rick Scott freezing all rate increases for three
months after Hurricane Irma.
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier’s order carrying out Scott’s
directive expired Dec. 4.
Originally, the rate increases were proposed to take effect on Feb. 1.
Revising that implementation date to May 1 means any policyholder due to
renew between Feb. 1 and April 30 will be able to do so with no change
to the rates they paid in 2017.
In addition, the revision resets the clock for future Citizens rate
changes. They will now take effect on May 1, spokesman Michael Peltier
Meanwhile, proposed average wind coverage increases averaging 3.9
percent for about 17,000 Citizens policyholders in Monroe County were
That helped the overall state average rate increase for Citizens’
wind-only coverage to drop from 1.7 percent originally requested to 0.9
percent. The order by the Office of Insurance Regulation approving the
statewide rate increases “calls on Citizens to review rating territories
throughout Monroe County and analyze wind mitigation credits while
working with local officials to review building codes for possible
revision,” a Citizens news release said Wednesday.