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Public hearing for Citizens Property rate hikes slated for Sept. 13 in Tampa

Homeowners covered by the state-run Citizens Property Insurance can voice their concerns and comments over planned rate hikes at a public hearing in downtown Tampa next month.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will hold the session from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 13 inside Ballroom D of the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St.

Most of the attention has focused on Citizens' proposal for a massive boost in sinkhole rates. Sinkhole premiums would rise by an average of 429 percent under the Citizens proposal. The "average" rate is deceptive, however, since it ranges from a 0 percent increase in Lake County to a 2,226.1 percent surge in Orange County.

The plan, which could boost premiums by thousands of dollars for some, sparked a protest rally in Pasco County this week. The average sinkhole premium in coastal Pasco would jump from $1,270 to $3,598.

Citizens says it needs the money to cover the cost of sinkhole claims.

If approved by state regulators, Citizens' average homeowners policy, including sinkhole, would rise 12.1 percent for its high-risk, coastal policies and 25.4 percent for policyholders in the personal lines accounts (or PLA).

Consumers who are unable to attend the hearing can send their feedback by email to ratehearings@floir.com or visit the Office of Insurance Regulation's Web site (www.floir.com) and click on a box to share comments about Citizens Property insurance rates. Include the word "Citizens" in the subject line of the email.

Public hearing for Citizens Property rate hikes slated for Sept. 13 in Tampa 08/12/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2011 4:27pm]
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