Citizens Property Insurance, the State-established and supposed ‘not-for-profit’ insurance company in Florida, was established to provide homeowners insurance to residents who don’t qualify for other homeowners insurance policies or those homeowners who can’t afford private insurance policies. This insurance company was supposed to be the insurer of last resort for residents in high risk areas (associated with natural disasters such as hurricanes, sinkholes, tornadoes, etc.). Since the entire state of Florida is considered to be in a high risk zone, many major insurance companies have ceased from offering policies within the state, leaving Citizens to be the most widely used insurance company in the state.
September 13, 2011 at 4 pm in Tampa, Florida will mark the Insurance Regulators public hearing regarding Citizens’ plans to increase rates. South Florida homeowners who currently have policies with Citizens should expect to see 12-15% rate increase in 2012 due to heightened sink-hole coverage. This coverage primarily affects residents in the Tampa area who should expect to see 25-35% insurance cost spikes.
Many residents and homeowners plan to attend the hearing in hopes that the State Insurance regulators will side with the residents.
The hearing in September will hopefully abolish stated rate increases as homeowners insurance in Florida is already very expensive. Many homeowners will no longer be able to afford insurance, leading to a higher foreclosure rate within the state and/or more uninsured homes. In the event of a natural disaster, this will put more stress on Federally backed FEMA funds and local community up-keep programs.
More information on the proposed rate increases and the upcoming hearing can be found here.