TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – A proposal targeting Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has passed its first Florida Senate hurdle. The bill would raise premiums and limit the types of policies the state-run insurer can issue.

According to the News Service of Florida, the bill passed on a 6-4 vote, but not before very heated debate was exchanged over Florida’s largest single property insurer.

Currently, Citizens has roughly 1.3 million homeowners policies in the Sunshine State.

Backers of the bill said the rate hikes are needed to cover the risks carried by the company. Republican state Senator Alan Hays said the bill also is based on levying assessments on most insurance customers. Hays compared that to socialism and said it would ultimately fail.

But critics of the bill said that coastal residents live in areas where private insurers won’t got and even if they did, the private insurers would charge rates many property owners couldn’t afford.

“I’ve got people back home who cannot afford not to have Citizens,” Senate Mike Fasano (R- New Port Richey) told the NSF. “The industry has abandoned them. What do we tell those people.”

In addition to the rate hikes that could reach up to 25 percent a year, the bill would push the value of homes Citizens can insure to $500,000 by 2016. Other elements in the bill included:

  • Prohibits the use of public adjusters for Citizens customers
  • Prohibit Citizens from offering commercial, non-residential policies
  • Restrict sinkhole coverage to the primary residence and not ancillary buildings

Citizens was created in 2002 to cover coastal policyholders no private company would insure. Lawmakers froze Citizens’ rates until January 2010. Rate hikes have been capped at a statewide average of 10 percent.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida  contributed to this report.)

  1. dbm says:

    How can they continue to raise the price on every single thing we need. Have they not heard the ecomony sucks and all these increases will continue to slow down the recovery and hurt more people and possibly push them into losing their homes. STOP increasing the costs PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! Its getting impossible to keep families afloat with all of the increases. If the State cared they would put a halt to insurance increases. Florida does much better than the tornado, flood and earthquake ares that are covered ,so stop pin pointing our location. Give Florida a break !!!!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

What Are People Talking About?
Weather Forecast 24/7Check for current temps and what to expect throughout the day

Watch & Listen LIVE