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The Checks Are in the Mail…Soon

February 13th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

The fruits of last month’s special Legislative session on insurance will soon be showing up in some mailboxes across the state. Customers of Citizens Insurance who have renewed their policies in January will be getting checks back. Others won’t see an increase. As Mike Vasilinda reports, the question of who gets what is ringing phones off the hook in Tallahassee.

Hear it here: Citizen Refunds

About ten thousand times a week. The phone rings at the Department of Financial Services. Call volume is up by almost 20 percent since January’s legislative session. Many of the callers want to know when they will see a refund as a result of changes in the law.

Tim Mosley says most callers have been decent. “What’s the mood of those people?”

“Well, the temperament is real good.”

Thousands of Citizens customers who have already renewed their policies will see checks this week or next. Citizens’ spokesman Rocky Scott says more will go out in mid March. “Well, a high risk account should be about a 20% cut. In the personal lines account, and that’s home insurance to you and me… everyone who doesn’t live along the coast… probably about 12%.”

If you haven’t already paid your Citizens renewable, there will be nothing in the mailbox for you right now. But when that notice does come, it won’t be any higher than it was last year.

Governor Charlie Crist says he is happy the checks are in the mail…and says “But what I’m more concerned about in the long term is the opportunity to lower rates across the board.”

In addition to the latest round of refund, policyholders are also dodging what would have been another 55 percent rate hike in April.

The battle over insurance is apparently just beginning. The Florida Insurance Council has filed a legal challenge to an emergency rule adopted by the cabinet that prevents private companies from canceling policies before the new insurance reform law takes effect.

Posted in Insurance, State News | 2 Comments »

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