Hurricane Insurance

June 11

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A bill extending a rate freeze for
customers of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and factoring
in national profits when setting premiums for other insurance
companies became law today with Governor Charlie Crist's signature.

It also would prevent national property insurance companies from
setting up Florida-only subsidiaries. Crist says that lets them
seek higher rates by claiming they are losing money here even
though making a profit nationally. It won't, though, affect
companies that already have such subsidiaries.

The new law was one of Crist's top priorities, but it was among
the last bills lawmakers passed during the regular legislative
session that ended May 4th.

The measure's most immediate effect will be the rate freeze
extension through the end of 2008 for state-created Citizens, which
has become the state's largest property insurer. The Legislature in
January had frozen the rates through the end of 2007.

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