Citizens Insurance Seeks Cuts for Inland Clients

TALLAHASSEE | Citizens Property Insurance Corp. wants state regulators to reduce base rates for the majority of its policyholders for the first time since a move to artificially lower rates ended in 2009.

About 70 percent of Citizens’ policyholders, mostly inland residential customers, would benefit from the proposed 5.8 percent reduction for multi-peril coverage, according to the state-backed insurer. Meanwhile, the other 30 percent, many in commercial, condominium and coastal properties, could face increases.

Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway told the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Wednesday that the request comes as efforts have been successful to move more than a half-million policies into the private market the past two years and as rates in prior years have been increased to bring the state-backed insurer more in line with the private market.

Citizens also has been able to bulk up its surplus as Florida is now in its ninth hurricane season without the center of a major storm making contact with the state, he said.

“It’s has been hard getting here,” Gilway said. “But we’re finally at that point where we have good news.”

The Office of Insurance Regulation has until Sept. 4 to rule on the request.

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty wouldn’t speculate on how his office will rule after the “fact-finding” session with Citizens officials Wednesday.

Entire Article: .pdf | The Ledger