Citizens rate hikes over the past 3 years

If you are a Florida homeowner, you have probably had to shell out more and more money to protect your home throughout the past few years.

At the forefront of those hikes is Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Florida's public insurer of last resort. The insurance giant currently holds over 20 percent of the state's property insurance policies in force. That makes it the largest property insurer in the state with more than 1.3 million policies and approximately $430 billion in hurricane exposure.

Since 2010, regulators have approved drastic rate increases for Citizens.

Citizens said the increases have been needed because claims and expenses exceed the premiums they take in. Citizens explained on its website, "While a lack of major storms in Florida since 2006 has helped Citizens build up reserves, it has not reduced the risk of future major storms."

While that may be the case, the rate hikes have also been used as a method to help the company shed policies. Governor Rick Scott ordered the company to get rid of approximately 300,000 customers. The governor is seeking ways to reduce the liability the state would face, if a catastrophic storm hits Florida.

According the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the following rate hikes were approved over the span of the past three years:
2012- 10.8 percent
2011- 6.2 percent
2010- 10.3 percent

As Citizens Property Insurance tries to unload thousands of homeowner policies onto private insurers, The I-TEAM looks into who those companies are.  Will they be around after a big storm hits?  The I-TEAM is taking action to protect you and your property from the insurance industry – TONIGHT at 11 p.m.

The I-TEAM also complied list of ways to save on your insurance bill.
Click here to read the story.

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