The Real Deal Miami

Citizens to increase rates by 8.2% statewide

In Broward County rates will increase almost 10%
December 13, 2018 12:30PM

(Credit: iStock)

Citizens Property Insurance is planning to increase rates, yet again.

The state-backed insurance company’s board of governors approved a rate increase averaging 8.2 percent in across all of the company’s insurance lines, according to the Sun Sentinel. The rate hike would begin in September 2019.

South Florida homeowners will see some of the biggest rate increases in the state. Rates for homeowners insurance will increase 9.9 percent in Broward County, 9.4 percent in Miami-Dade and 7.0 percent in Palm Beach County, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The rate hike is due to the high costs from litigation that the insurance company is having to bear, according to Citizens. Citizens contends it is being excessively billed by plaintiffs lawsuits due to an issue called assignment of benefits.

Citizens is referred to as the insurer of last resort, providing an option to people who can’t get insurance elsewhere. Nearly a decade ago the number of policyholders neared 1.5 million. But the state sought to push people on to other private insurers to try to reduce the cost burden on the government. Citizens now has about 435,000 policies.

Citizens’ board of governors voted 8-1 for the rate increase, the Sun Sentinel reported. The rate hikes still need approval from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. [Sun Sentinel] — Keith Larsen