The Real Deal Miami

Insurance crisis looms

March 02, 2009 01:26PM

Property rates at state-run insurer Citizens Property Insurance, frozen until this year, may rise sharply for its 1.1 million policy holders. The state legislature must decide how to handle the problem, and it could extend the rate freeze or establish less drastic increases. The lawmakers’ session ends Tuesday and must strike a balance between weak state finances and the coffers of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which can offer lower-cost reinsurance and reduce rates. Barney Bishop, president of Associated Industries of Florida, a business lobbying group, said a bad hurricane season could bankrupt the state.