Citizens is trying to raise prices by 25%

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Bill allowing hefty Citizens insurance rate hikes clears first panel

By Julie Patel March 29, 2011 04:25 PM
A bill that would raise Citizens Property Insurance policyholders’ premiums by up to 25 percent a year and make many policyholders ineligible for coverage was approved by a close 6 to 4 vote in the Senate’s insurance committee today.

Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said his bill, SB 1714 is aimed to shrink state-backed Citizens, Florida’s largest residential insurance provider with 1.3 million policies, and even the playing for private insurers. The bill will go to one ore two committees before it can be taken up for a full Senate vote.

The bill, and its House companion, HB 1243, would also bar policies for homeowners who find coverage elsewhere for a price that’s up to 25 percent more; require Citizens to drop policies covering homes that cost at least $500,000; prevent Citizens policyholders from hiring public insurance adjusters to represent them in claims disputes; and require Citizens to hire an outside consultant to analyze whether to have more of its work outsourced.

Gwen Margolis, D-Miami, said people who will be no longer be eligible for coverage with Citizens will find it even harder to sell their homes, which could worsen economic problems in the state.

“At what point do we recognize that there are people out there that are struggling that can no longer afford [it]?” said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who led the charge against the bill. He said Floridians who elected Republicans do not expect legislators to raise their taxes, rates or premiums. “Every time I turn around we see another rate increase…Give these people some relief.”

Hays said his bill would help reduce fees charged to the 85 percent of Florida policyholders who don’t have Citizens but have to help offset the insurer’s deficits from the 2005 hurricanes. “We call it an assessment but that’s just a big long word for tax,” he said.

J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said auto insurance policyholders would also be subject to paying fees. He said a constituent told him, “I can’t even afford a house. Why do I have to pay this assessment?”

South Florida lawmakers that voted against the bill are Sens. Margolis, Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, voted for it, Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, was not at the meeting.

To weigh in, find your legislators and contact information for them online.
Categories: Citizens Property Insurance (19), Property Insurance (306)

Citizens also intends to stop insuring homes in high hurricane areas of the coast. I was under the impression that Citizens was supposed to be the place to go if you couldn’t get coverage elsewhere, but as usual if you want anything to get royally screwed up get the government involved.

Looks like lots of work for Florida Home Inspectors in the future.

If they force home owners out of Citizens Insurance due to a 25% yearly increase, I will definitely be looking for new Insurance. The problem as i see it, is how long will the insurance rates remain lower than citizens. I suspect they will keep their rates just below citizens in order to rape the home owners.

Insurance companies can not raise rates without state approval.

Maybe you haven’t heard of this, checkbook legislation.

They are not OIR

My premium increased by 25% this year. How many years have citizens customers went with no increase?

Not saying an increase isn’t in order, but every year. Take a look at the new Insurance co’s. When the big one hit’s, who you gonna call. Will they be able to cover the losses. They most likely will require government assistance to pay-out the damages.

Citizens Insurance is a good idea…Property Ins for Floridians. To bad it’s government controlled…but sometimes drastic actions have to be taken to protect the public from over zealous corporations.

Citizens is NON-profit.

Couple of years ago Citizens was going to build a brand new 100 million dollar facility in Tallahassee until enough people caught wind of it and raise hell with their reps and then it suddenly got cancelled. They were going pay for that with somebody’s money. They also tried to renege on paying claims after a couple of really bad hurricanes, claiming they were not “really” an insurance company or some such nonsense, that they were part of the “gov-ment”. Keep an eye on Citizens, they be slick.

All the better…

Insurance is a scam and everyone who has had to use it, know it.

Probably the only industry that should be government controlled.

How is insurance a scam?
Insurance simply takes the risk and spreads it over the masses. Without insurance, the business world would not exist as we now know it.
I think a better statement might be that insurance companies are too greedy, and have a huge rate of return on there money, at our expense.

the only ones that appear to be a scam are those that can’t cover their losses in catastrophic events. IMHO


Are you freaking kidding me.

You have been complaining for over a month to let the government have complete control over your profession.
Congrats to ya it looks like they will keep it. Enjoy.:roll: