By Kerry Smith
Increases vary by county and property, but only a few condo owners could see a discount. Some Panhandle and non-coastal counties may see the biggest increase.
TALLAHASSEE Fla. – Citizens Property Insurance Corp. leaders approved a proposal Wednesday that would raise average rates by 14.2% this year as they continue to push policies into the private insurance market. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation must still approve the proposal for it to take effect.
Citizens is operated by Florida and the state’s “insurer of last resort.” It’s generally sold to property owners who cannot find affordable coverage elsewhere.
“For the economic well-being of the people of Florida, as well as for the good of Florida’s insurance market, Citizens must return to truly being that insurer of last resort for our state,” Citizens President and CEO Tim Cerio said to Citizens board members before they made the decision to increase rates, according to the News Service of Florida. “We must charge actuarially sound rates, and we must not be competitive with the private market.”
Citizens saw its policy count skyrocket from 569,868 on March 31, 2021, to 1,223,204 as of Friday, adding 13,000 policies in one week alone, as private insurers drop customers and increase rates due to financial troubles. Cerio said Citizens expects to top 1.5 million policies by the end of this year.
In December, the Florida Legislature passed legislation to help Florida’s insurance market, but “this isn’t a quick fix. It’s going to take time,” says Citizens Board of Governors Chairman Carlos Beruff.
Citizens prepared a 2023 rate kit, which provides members of the media with information about its 2023 rate filing, including county-by-county estimates for specific policy types and frequently asked questions.
High-profile takeaways from the proposed rate hikes
- The only group of people likely to see their cost of Citizens decline is single-family homeowners who hold Multiperil HO6 policies, which mostly cover condominiums. Thirty-five Florida counties have at least one HO6 policyholder who should save money under the proposed change.
- Counties in the coastal Panhandle and a few inland counties in South Florida will see some of the biggest increases.
- Under Multiperil HO3 policies – generally single-family homes – two counties will see an average increase greater than 20%: Monroe and Taylor.
- Under Wind-Only HW2 policies – also single-family homes – eight counties will see average increases greater than 20%, with Charlotte County the highest at an average 28.4%, followed by Gulf County (24.1%) and Lee County (23.3%).
- Under Multiperil HO6 policies – generally condos or other limited-coverage-area units – three counties will see average increases over 20%, including Highlands (20.4%) and Martin (20.0%). Hendry County has only one HO6 policy, but that homeowner will see an increase of 46% if the proposed rate hike is approved.
- The Wind-Only HW6 policies – also condo-type units – will see the greatest number of average increases over 20%. However, 37 counties don’t have any units using this type of coverage. Of the rest, almost all increases are greater than 20% except for Gulf (11.2%), Levy (18.4%), Miami-Dade (18.9%), Nassau (19.1%), Pasco (17.5%) and Santa Rosa (19.3%) counties.
Florida insurers rated by policy number on Dec. 31, 2022
- Citizens Property Insurance Corp: 1,142,624
- Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co.: 606,129
- State Farm Florida Insurance Co.: 589,380
- American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida: 331,471
- ASI Preferred Insurance Corp: 289,583
- Castle Key Indemnity Co.: 287,111
- American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida: 278,911
- First Protective Insurance Co.: 239,517
- Tower Hill Insurance Exchange: 201,509
- Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co.: 169,425
Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
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