Office of Insurance Regulation Approves Citizens 2016 Rates
September 08, 2015 - Tallahassee, FL
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Tuesday approved a slate of 2016 property insurance rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation that lowers rates for 60 percent of Citizens customers but reflects an average overall 1.8 percent increase for homeowners’ multiperil policyholders across the state.
Two weeks after Citizens presented its proposal at a public hearing in Tallahassee, the state insurance regulator made minor adjustments to Citizens 2016 rate request, which addressed continued coastal wind-risk and a spike in water claims in South Florida. The combination of factors drove up overall rates despite reductions to most policyholders living farther from the coast.
“Today’s decision by the Office of Insurance Regulation reflects Citizens’ success in reducing exposure and returning to its role as the state’s insurer of last resort,” said Barry Gilway, Citizens’ President, CEO and Executive Director. “While our footprint is shrinking, we continue to provide critical coverage to those policyholders still unable to find appropriate coverage in the private market.”
The statewide average homeowners multiperil (HO-3) premium would rise in 2016 to $2,381, up 1.8 percent from an average of $2,339 in 2015. Average homeowners multiperil rates, however, will decrease outside of Miami Dade, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties.
The average premium for coastal wind-only homeowners policies will rise to $2,599, up 8.3% from the 2015 average of $2,400. This reflects continued progress along the statutory “glide path,” under which no policyholder can experience more than a 10% increase per year exclusive of coverage adjustments.
Mobile home owners will see a 6.4 percent reduction in multiperil rates while wind-only mobile home coverage, which remains well below market rates, will increase by 10.4 percent. Sinkhole rates in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties will remain the same for 2016.
Despite a reduction of nearly 900,000 policies since late 2012, Citizens remains the largest property insurer in Florida with 601,213 personal and commercial policies in force as of September 4, 2015.
Following nine hurricane seasons with no major storms, six years of rate adjustments under the statutory glide path and historically low reinsurance costs, six in 10 Citizens personal lines policyholders are expected to see rate reductions in 2016.
“Citizens remains committed to transparency in working with the Office and complying with the statute by ensuring that rates are actuarially sound, no more and no less,” said Chris Gardner, Chairman of Citizens’ Board of Governors. “A properly funded Citizens means no surprises in the form of post-storm assessments on all insurance-buying Floridians.”
In 2002, the Florida Legislature created Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), a
not-for-profit alternative insurer, whose public purpose is to provide insurance to, and serve the needs of, property owners who cannot find coverage in the private insurance market.