Florida Property Insurance Hurricane

Hearing Scheduled On Florida Citizens Insurance Hikes

Regulators have scheduled a hearing next week on a proposal by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to raise customers’ rates beginning in August.

The Office of Insurance Regulation will hold the online hearing at 1 p.m. March 31, according to a notice published Thursday in the Florida Administrative Register.

The Citizens Board of Governors in December approved seeking 11 percent rate increases, though the amounts being considered by regulators are slightly less than that because of issues involving sinkhole coverage and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

For example, the notice said regulators are considering an average 10.7 percent hike for homeowners “multi-peril” policies — the most common type of coverage. Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has seen a massive increase in policies during the past two years as private insurers have dropped customers and raised rates amid financial troubles.

As of Wednesday, Citizens had 801,341 policies and is expected to exceed 1 million policies this year, President and CEO Barry Gilway told the Board of Governors.

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