MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Homeowners with Citizens Property Insurance will see their rates increase in 2013 after the rate hike was approved Tuesday by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations.
Homeowners policies will increase by 10.8 percent in 2013 based on the new order from the OIR. Originally, Citizens asked for an 11.8 percent increase in homeowners’ insurance rates. In parts of Florida with sinkhole risks, the rates will increase by roughly 10 percent more.
Mobile home rates for multi-peril and physical damage will be released on October 8 while Commercial Line Accounts will be released October 19.
“The final rates indicate a more reasonable approach toward moving a significant portion of Florida’s demographic to actuarially-supported rates,” said Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.
The ultimate goal of the rate hikes and the measures taken by the legislature is to remove as many homeowners as possible from Citizens. The state-backed insurer currently has a fund with roughly $6 billion in the bank, but has repeatedly said one major hurricane could bankrupt the company.
Homeowners flocked to Citizens thanks to low rates and rate increase allowed by the legislature. Citizens became a primary insurer for most because private insurance companies raised rates to prices that were unaffordable to most Floridians.
Governor Rick Scott has led the charge to try and depopulate Citizens. As it stands now, Citizens is in the process of depopulating homeowners from its company. However, there is a catch to just how much Citizens can do.
According to CBS4’s Al Sunshine, Citizens can remove customers from its rolls to give them over to a private company. However, a homeowner has the right to opt-out of the depopulation and remain a Citizens customer.