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Most Tampa Bay area condo owners to see drop in cost of Citizens insurance

Once more, Tampa Bay is being spared the brunt of Citizens Property Insurance rate hikes.

Statewide, rates are heading up next year for thousands of condo associations, commercial buildings and rental properties covered by the state-run insurer of last resort. But for most condo owners in the bay area, among other parts of the state, rates are likely to go down.

Under an order released late Monday by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, Citizens will raise rates 10.4 percent on average statewide for its dwelling fire condo policies, slightly higher than the 9.8 percent rate the insurer initially sought. For much of the Tampa Bay region, however, dwelling fire condo rates will go down 5 percent on average.

Among other policy types: commercial residential ex-condo policies will go up 0.7 percent on average statewide, commercial residential condo up 8.1 percent and commercial nonresidential policies are unchanged. Within high-risk accounts: Condo wind-only policies will rise 11 percent on average; condo ex-wind policies will go up 11.3 percent; and commercial nonresidential up 9.9 percent.

The rate changes are effective between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, 2011.

McCarty's office said approved rates contain both increases and decreases from what the Citizens board had requested because regulators used a different method to calculate rates. The Florida Legislature has capped rate increases at 10 percent per year, but Citizens can exceed that cap to help build up reserves in the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

For Citizens, the biggest property insurer in Florida, most of its policies are with homeowners.

Last month, McCarty approved an average 10.3 percent rate increase for homeowners covered under both Citizens' personal lines accounts and high-risk accounts.

Most Tampa Bay area condo owners to see drop in cost of Citizens insurance 10/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 11, 2010 7:38pm]
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