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South Florida homeowners to pay more for Citizen’s Insurance; Solvency Questioned in the Event of Major Hurricane

Florida’s state-backed property insurer, Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp., received approval on Thursday to raise rates an average of 10.3 percent for Florida homeowners, Businessweek reported.

As our Miami insurance dispute attorneys reported earlier this week on our Florida Insurance Claim Lawyer Blog, private insurers fled coastal areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Florida’s busy 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons also narrowed the field, turning Citizens Insurance, which had been the state-backed insurer of last resort, into one of the state’s primary property insurers.
And, while it insures $433 billion in property, it is sitting on just $10.5 billion in cash reserves and reinsurance. Citizens is now the state’s largest insurer with 1.2 million policies.

Lawmakers continue to struggle with ways to shift homeowners out of Citizens and back into the private insurance market. But one thing is certain: There is very likely to be big trouble collecting from Citizens in the event of a major hurricane.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that the state’s office of Insurance Regulation approved larger increases than Citizens had requested.

The increase comes after the insurer raised rates an average of 12 percent this year in parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
If you are facing a dispute over an insurance claim in Florida, contact Alvarez & Barbara, LLP toll free at 866-518-2913 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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