Fasano calls for statwide hearings on Citizens sinkhole insurance rates
The Citizens Property Insurance board voted 4-0 on Wednesday in support of raising sinkhole insurance premiums by a statewide average of more than 400 percent. In some parts of the Tampa Bay area, rates will rise more than 2,000 percent. The proposal now goes to the Office of Insurance Regulation, which will schedule a rate hearing in Tallahassee.
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who unsuccessfully fought the legislation that allows Citizens to massively boost its sinkhole insurance premiums, is calling for statewide hearings.
"The economic impact on homeowners will be devastating," Fasano wrote in a letter to insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty. "It is almost beyond comprehension that Citizens would even propose such outrageously high premium increases. I fear what will happen to those homeowners whose lenders require full sinkhole coverage during the length of a mortgage or a home equity loan.
"In light of these almost incomprehensible rate increases I respectfully expect that all Floridians be given the chance to have their voices heard on this issue before the Office of Insurance rules on the application. Hearings held throughout the state, especially in those areas which will receive the highest rate increases, must be held before the application is given consideration."
Comments on the rate proposal can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the word Citizens in the subject line.