Politics
1:26 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Citizens Hikes Rates And Jettisons Thousands Of Policyholders

The effort to shrink the number of homes insured by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance is accelerating into high gear.

The Office of Insurance Regulation approved the company’s rate hike request this week.

At the same time, more than 200,000 Citizens customers are being contacted by private insurance companies that want their business.

If those customers don’t opt out of private coverage by early November, they’ll be automatically switched to a private insurer.
 
Toluse Olorunnipa in the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau said it's all about reducing the risk to Citizens. 

“They would say that they’re trying to get to the rate that they think they need in order to pay for claims if we get hit with a hurricane, but also in order to be less competitive with the private market,” Olorunnipa said. “So once the rates get high enough, people will leave Citizens and go to the private market.”

Premiums for Citizens policy holders will go up an average of 10.8 percent in January. That amounts to about $250 per customer next year.