Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Rates Finalized For Monroe County
TALLAHASSEE (9/29/2006) – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today approved property insurance rate changes filed by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) for Monroe County, Florida. The new rates in Monroe County, as well as the previously approved actuarial rates for the remainder of the state, will become effective for new and renewal business as of January 1, 2007.
Monroe County homeowners rates will decrease by an average of 35 percent and manufactured homeowners rates will increase by 15.2 percent. Citizens had originally filed for approval to raise rates in Monroe County by 25.9 percent for homeowners policies and to increase manufactured homeowners rates by 20.4 percent.
"I am deeply concerned about the impact higher insurance rates are having on the household budgets of Floridians, perhaps none more so than the residents of Monroe County," said McCarty. "I will continue to work with policymakers in seeking short-term solutions and long-term reforms to make property insurance more affordable and available in our state, such as those being developed by Lt. Gov. Jennings' Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee."
By law Citizens rates must be both actuarially sound and must be higher than the rates charged by private insurance companies. However, the 2005 Florida Legislature ordered a study to determine whether a reasonable degree of competition existed in Monroe County. The Office of Insurance Regulation issued a report in March that concluded there is not a competitive market for Monroe County which eliminated the applicability of the requirement that rates had to be higher than those charged by private insurance companies.
The 35 percent decrease is slightly larger than the original 32.2 percent decrease ordered by the Office. The decreased rate will be mandated for a minimum of one calendar year and is meant to compensate policyholders who were charged an excess rate as a result of Citizens submitting the rate filing under the use and file process. Contrary to recent comments in the press by Citizens, rate changes in Monroe County are not reallocated to other parts of the state. A copy of the Citizens consent order is available at http://www.floir.com/siteDocuments/citizensconsentordermonroecounty.pdf
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