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Proposed Citizens rate hikes trimmed

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Tallahassee, Florida – On Friday, regulators trimmed proposed rate increases for customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved an average 6.4 percent rate increase for homeowners with “multi-peril” policies – by far the most common type of policy. Citizens had requested a 10.7 percent increase for multi-peril policies.

Customers with other types of Citizens policies will see average increases ranging from 8.4 percent to 11 percent. The increases will take effect on Sept. 1.

According to the Citizens Board of Governors, they decided in December to seek an across-the-board 11 percent rate increase.

For most types of coverage, the actual requests were slightly lower than 11 percent.

According to the Office of Insurance Regulation, the requests improperly used a different rate-setting approach than in the past.

Under state law, his year Citizens faces an 11 percent cap on rate increases. In the past, such caps applied to the maximum rate increases that individual customers could see. But Citizens this year sought across-the-board increases at or near the cap.

According to an order signed Friday by Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, regulators determined that “rates should continue to be subject to a similar per policyholder capping methodology as used in prior filings.”

During the past two years, the number of policies in Citizens has skyrocketed as private insurers have dropped customers and sought hefty rate hikes because of financial problems.

 

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