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State agrees with Citizens: inland properties get rate cut, coastal property get another rate increase

State regulators have approved lower rates for most homeowners covered by Citizens Property Insurance, the first widespread rate cut by the state-run insurer in years.

Citizens, which insures those who cannot find coverage in the open market, is the largest property insurer in Florida with more than 933,000 policies as of July 31.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Friday said the average Citizens' homeowners rate will fall by 3.7 percent, slightly better than the 3.4 percent decrease sought by the insurer in its June filing. Rates will be cut 4.6 percent, on average, for mobile home owners with multi-peril coverage. Nearly all of the rate reduction is for inland properties and those with multi-peril coverages while nearly all coastal accounts for wind-only coverage will get hit with another rate increase.  

Citizens has previously said nearly seven out of 10 policyholders statewide would see lower rates if its filing were approved.

Among bay area counties, Citizens had proposed average rate cuts for most homeowners policies of 8 percent in Hillsborough; 8.9 percent in Pinellas; 6 percent in Pasco; and 9.5 percent in Citrus. Hernando County policyholders faced an average increase of 0.4 percent. A countywide breakdown of approved rates was not immediately available.

The new rates are effective Feb. 1 for both new personal lines policies and renewals.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty held a rate hearing Aug. 27 and accepted consumer feedback as part of a 45-day review process.

A rate filing decision for Citizens' commercial accounts is still pending.

Since 2010, state legislators have allowed Citizens to raise its rates up to an average 10 percent a year. For most property owners, Citizen now says, rates have caught up to become "actuarially sound." In other words, the higher rates now reflect the risk of insuring those properties.

Check back here for updates.

-- Jeff Harrington, Tampa Bay Times and Mary Ellen Klas, Miami Herald

Here's the Office of Insurance Regulation release:

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has established the 2015 rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), Florida’s largest property insurer. Overall, the statewide average homeowners rate will fall 3.7% compared to the 3.4% decrease requested by Citizens. The Order sets rates for Citizens Homeowners’, Dwelling Fire, Mobile Homeowners and Mobile Homeowners Physical Damage accounts.

 

The effective date for both new and renewal rates within the Personal Lines Account and Coastal Account is February 1, 2015. 

 

The chart below provides the overall statewide average rate changes established by the Office for each account individually:

 

(Incl. Sinkhole and FHCF Cash Buildup Factor Changes)

Account

Original Rate Requested

Estimated Rate Established

HOMEOWNERS MULTI-PERIL
#14-13202
(Personal Lines Account)

-5.8% decrease

-6.1% decrease

HOMEOWNERS MULTI-PERIL 
#14-13203

(Coastal Account – Wind Only)

+3.8% increase

+3.8% increase

HOMEOWNERS COMBINED
#14-13202 & #14-13203

(Personal Lines and Coastal Accounts)

-3.4% decrease

-3.7% decrease

PROPERTY/PERSONAL DWELLING FIRE
#14-13383

(Personal Lines Account)

-4.5% decrease

-4.7% decrease

PROPERTY/PERSONAL DWELLING FIRE
#14-13384
(Coastal Account – Wind Only)

+6.8% increase

+6.6% increase

MOBILE HOMEOWNERS 
#14-13667
(Coastal Account – Wind Only)

+8.2% increase

+8.2% increase

     

MOBILE HOMEOWNERS MULTI-PERIL 
#14-13668
(Persona Lines Account)

-4.3% decrease

-4.6% decrease

MOBILE HOMEOWNERS PHYSICAL DAMAGE ONLY (DWELLING FIRE) MULTI-PERIL
#14-13749
(Personal Lines Account)

-4.3% decrease

-4.8% decrease

MOBILE HOMEOWNERS PHYSICAL DAMAGE ONLY (DWELLING FIRE) 
#14-13751
(Coastal Account – Wind Only)

+8.6% increase

+8.6% increase

 

The Office reached its decision following a 45-day deliberative process, which included a public hearing conducted on August 27, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida and feedback provided by interested parties. Rate filing decisions for the commercial residential and commercial non-residential accounts are still pending.

 

Rate filings can be accessed via the “I-File Forms & Rate Search” system using the following search criteria in either the “Quick Search” or “Advanced Search” options: file log numbers or by entering “Citizens Property Insurance Corporation” as the “company name”. When the selection appears, scroll to the bottom of the results page for the most recent filing information. 

 

For more information, visit the Citizens Public Rate Hearing webpage on the Office’s website.

 

 

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