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. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Clearwater mansion that sold at record price is back on the market for $19.75 million

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Less than four months after it sold for a record $11.18 million, the waterfront Century Oaks estate is back on the market — for $19.75 million.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor, which sold for $11.18 million four months ago, is back on the market.
[Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group

  3. Tampa Bay gas prices jump nearly 10 cents over the week


    Gas prices in Tampa Bay are on the rise again.

    Tampa Bay gas prices jumped nearly 10 cents over the past week to an average of $2.15 per gallon. | [Times file photo]
  4. Water Hogs: During drought, hundreds of Tampa Bay homes guzzled a gallon of water a minute


    When Amalie Oil president Harry Barkett plunked down $6.75-million for his Bayshore Boulevard mansion, he picked up 12.5 bathrooms, a pool, a hot tub, an elevator and a deck bigger than some one-bedroom apartments.

    During one of the worst droughts in the Tampa Bay region's history, hundreds of houses used more than a gallon of water a minute. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times

  5. Gov. Scott's tough talk on Venezuela may not turn into economic action

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — To show his solidarity with Venezuelans, Gov. Rick Scott held a rally in South Florida and repeatedly promised to punish companies that do business with the Nicolás Maduro regime.

    Gov. Rick Scott held a rally July 10 at El Arepazo restaurant to show solidarity with Venezuelans. Scott has said he wants to punish companies that work with the Nicol?s Maduro regime.