Patricia Temple’s annual insurance bill soared by more than $2,100 after an inspector knocked on her door earlier this year. The bill came from Citizens Property Insurance Corp., and the inspector was one of thousands fanning the state on Citizens’ behalf, often with sudden and jarring results for homeowners.
The state-run insurer is using a massive home inspection program — along with dozens of coverage cutbacks and policy changes — in an aggressive campaign to bolster its bottom line and reduce its level of risk. The campaign — which has intensified at the urging of Gov. Rick Scott — has already cost homeowners hundreds of millions of dollars. And the pocketbook impact could easily reach the billions as more and more homeowners are affected.
For Temple, a 79-year-old retired librarian who lives alone on a fixed income, the premium hike is taking a large bite out of her limited budget.
“I was shocked and I called my agent,” she said from her three-bedroom home in Coral Gables. “I’ve never had an insurance claim on anything.”
Her insurance premium jumped from $4,882 to $7,028.