HomeHome InsuranceDouble-Digit Rate Hikes Ahead for Florida Citizens Customers

Double-Digit Rate Hikes Ahead for Florida Citizens Customers

Citizens Property Insurance submitted revised property insurance rate hikes to the state, but most of its customers will still face double-digit increases beginning later this year. 

The state-backed insurer sent its new proposal to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation last week, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. The revised offers equate to an average 11.5 percent increase for customers with “multi-peril” policies, the most common type of homeowners insurance Citizens sells, according to the outlet. 

Factoring in other types of policies, like mobile home and wind-only policies, the average rate hike jumps to 12.3 percent. Commercial policies will see rate increases of 10.2 percent, according to documents provided for the Citizens Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 27. 

The increases would take effect for commercial customers on Nov. 20, and the personal-line policies will pay the higher rates beginning Dec. 16, the outlet reported. 

Citizens initially proposed a 13.1 percent rate increase for personal line policies, the maximum allowable rate change. The Office of Insurance Regulation ordered Citizens to reduce some rate hikes in August, according to the outlet. 

“We’ve responded to [the Office of Insurance Regulation’s] concerns and think the rates we’re presenting to our board reflect those requested changes,” Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier told the publication.

According to the agenda for the upcoming Board of Governors meeting, Citizens proposed implementing the maximum rate increases allowable for “lines of business and areas of the state where Citizens’ rates were overly competitive.” 

Citizens, which was created as a last resort insurer for Floridians, has almost 1.4 million policies and 18 percent of the market, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The organization ranks Florida as the most expensive state for homeowners insurance. 

An ongoing insurance crisis in the state has sent many insurers, most recently Farmers Insurance, fleeing the market, leaving residents with higher rates. More and more homeowners are forced to buy policies with Citizens, whose policy count has grown 175 percent since July 2020. Citizens was never intended to become such a significant player in the insurance market, and last month regulators moved to shift 184,000 policies to private insurers. 

Kate Hinsche

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