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Reforming Property Insurance

April 3rd, 2009 by flanews

If Citizens is your insurance company your rates are about to go up. A House Committee today approved raising Citizens rates as well as reducing the states Catastrophe fund. As Whitney Ray tells us, the plan could drive everyones insurance premiums up slightly.

Insurance and business representatives pleaded with lawmakers Friday to reduce the states hurricane risk.

Were looking at the potential bankruptcy of the state of Florida, said Barney Bishop, the President of the Association Industries of Florida.

The state has taken on too much risk through Citizens Property Insurance. Lawmakers approved legislation allowing a Citizens rate freeze to expire and capping yearly increases at 10 percent. The plan is to slowly force policyholder out.

We have to just take it incrementally, slowly and just positive steps, said Alan Hays.

Florida is in the business of providing backup insurance for private companies. The legislation would scale back the coverage, which could drive up rates.

The legislation would allow insurance companies to raise rates 10 percent a year without seeking state approval.

The Office of Insurance Regulation will go along with what ever lawmakers decide. OIR Spokesman Ed Domansky says he just hopes prices remain affordable.

Whether a ten percent or a five percent is appropriate the key is what could consumers feel comfortable about paying, said Domansky.

If no changes are made and a major storm hits all Floridians will be paying more. The legislation would also offers more incentives for people to strengthen their homes against hurricanes.

Posted in Housing, Hurricane Season, Insurance, State News, Weather | No Comments »

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