Make us your home page

Regulators approve rate hikes for Citizens Property policies

TALLAHASSEE — The average cost of Citizens Property Insurance coverage for windstorm damage will increase next year, but not as much as first expected.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty approved an average 5.9 percent hike for single-family homeowners and 9.3 percent jump for businesses, according to an order issued Friday.

The new rates, which take effect Feb. 1, ended a three-year rate freeze.

But the actual rates mean significant hikes for some and considerable breaks for others depending on location. For example, wind-only policies for home­owners in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties will decrease while most policies in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties will jump more than 11 percent.

The wind-only policies, covering only high-risk coastal areas where private insurers don't offer plans, account for a third of Citizens' nearly 1 million policies.

The state-run insurer initially requested a greater average increase: 7.5 percent for homeowners and 9.9 percent for businesses. But analysts for the state's Office of Insurance Regulation challenged how Citizens determined its rates and adjusted the calculations. The main change is the incorporation of a 15 percent catastrophe surcharge into the premium, state insurers said.

Citizens spokesman John Kuczwanski said the company, which cannot appeal the order, will use the rate hike to help build its reserves for a major hurricane. "We are confident we will get to where we need to be," he said.

Earlier this year, state regulators approved an average 5.4 percent increase for Citizens' homeowners policies that cover perils beyond windstorms. The Legislature authorized the company to raise rates — with the approval of McCarty's office — in 2010 when it lifted the freeze but capped the average statewide increase at 10 percent, not including reinsurance costs.

A citizen group from Monroe County asked for a break on its rates at a November public hearing, citing the county's above-average construction standards and problems with hurricane modeling, but state regulators deferred action on the issue until next year's rate negotiations.

Staff writer Jeff Harrington contributed to this report. John Frank can be reached at or (850) 224-7263.

Rate hikes for Citizens high-risk policies



Broward*11.3 - 11.5%9.3%-9.3 - 10.8%0 - 11.8%10%11.3%
Miami-Dade*0.6 - 11.5%-9.3%-9.3 - 10.8%-3.9 - 11.8%10%11.3%

*Rates in Broward and Miami-Dade counties vary widely depending on where the property is located

Regulators approve rate hikes for Citizens Property policies 11/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.