Citizens Insurance requests to raise rates, homeowners oppose

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Before Hurricane Ian, lots of people struggled with home insurance. Home insurance, soaring rates, companies dropping customers or going bankrupt.

The storm only made things worse. That’s put a lot of pressure on Florida’s insurer of last result: Citizens Insurance.

“Which makes us at the moment the largest property insurer in Florida,” Michael Peltier said, spokesman of Citizens.

According to Peltier, Citizens now insures 1.3 million properties and worries that could go to 1.7 million before the end of 2023.

Thursday afternoon, Citizens went before the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and basically said: something’s gotta give.

The company complained that its rates are often lower than private companies, which homeowners across the state quickly come to enjoy. State law limits annual rate increases with a cap at 12% (in 2023) for homes that are primary residences.

Lawmakers okayed citizens raising rates on property owners who are not here full-time.

A group of homeowners from Monroe County urged the Office of Insurance Regulation to reject the massive rate hike.

“I think that if you’re if you’re increasing for citizens, almost guaranteed you’re going to be increasing for everyone else,” one of the Monroe County homeowners said.

They said there’s no guarantee the rate hike will drive homeowners back to private insurance companies.

The Office of Insurance Regulation will accept public comment on Citizens’ request to hike rates until June 22.

Public comment may be submitted at the rate hearing or emailed to with the subject line “Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.”

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