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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Taxes Down, Insurance Up



As the governor goes around today touting the property tax package the Legislature passed yesterday that promises to save homeowners in property taxes, insurance regulators just broke the bad news that homeowners are going to have to pay up a bit more for the bad hurricane season of 2004-2005, which resulted in Poe insurance companies going belly up.

The Office of Insurance Regulation just announced that they signed off on another one-time insurance assessment of 2 percent on about all liability premium, which was requested by the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association to pay off outstanding debt from Poe's insolvency. The fee impacts just about anyone who has an insurance liability policy, ranging from homeowners and auto to medical malpractice and aircraft, OIR said. Read the letter.

FIGA had assessed policies last year for Poe's insolvency but still remains $300 million short, mostly Hurricane Wilma claims. In some ways, the new assessment could be seen as a decrease compared to this past year's assessments. FIGA passed two separate 2 percent assessments on premium resulting in about $400 million to pay Poe claims.

This new assessment will result in about $20 on every $1,000 of premium paid. The way it works is that the insurers pay the assessment up front next month and will recoup the fee from policy owners.

The timing will no doubt be tough for some homeowners to take, politically, given that there have been no hurricanes for the past two years and they're still suffering from high taxes and insurance prices.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:24am]


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