Florida's largest property insurer could soon be raising it's rates. The governing board for Citizens Insurance approved the increase Friday.
The board approved an 8.8% rate increase for most of it's policyholders. Officials say the hike could go as high as 10.2%, if state regulators accept another version taking into account the risk of a major hurricane striking the state.
Victoria Bloomer has been a Citizens Insurance customer for years and says her rate has increased dramatically. Bloomer said, "They started out at just under $600 and now they're up to almost $1700."
Now that the rates may increase again, Bloomer says she has no choice but to pay. Bloomer said, "If I don't have insurance coverage and I don't have that wind coverage, if a neighbor's tree falls down and takes out my roof or a thunderstorm takes out my roof. I wouldn't be able to replace it without the insurance."
The possibility of a rate hike has Attorney Charles Gallagher concerned. Gallagher said, "A lot of folks might not be able to have coverage now and a lot of folks who already have coverage are going to have very bare bones coverage and very bare bones policies. If you have a home up in the North Pasco area, sinkholes are up there, you might not be able to opt for sinkhole coverage and pay that extra premium. If you have a sinkhole, you might be entirely out of luck."
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has 45 days to approve the plan. If approved, the rate hike would go into effect next year.
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