Last summer’s hurricane horror left Florida insurance companies with a $23 billion price tag for damages.
Before the rubble was cleared, Florida’s insurer of last resort faced $516 million in losses, which will be paid for by a 6.8 percent assessment to every policy holder in Florida.
Florida homeowners, no matter where they live, even if it's 50 miles from the coast, will have to pay more for homeowners insurance to bail out citizens.
Jeff Grady of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents says the assessment shows citizens aren't charging enough.
“If you’re going to be insured by citizens, we have to have a rate structure in place that assures that those claims that are derived within citizens are paid by the people who are in fact the policyholders,” he says.
Citizens Board was poised to vote for an average 37 percent increase this week, but backed off after recent allegations of impropriety by one of its key staffers.
Insurance lobbyist Sam Miller says as bad as things are, they could be worse.
Sam Miller, Executive Director of the Florida Insurance Council, says, “I don’t know if any other state could have handled those four storms last year and still could have had any insurance market.”
Miller says after Hurricane Andrew, rates went up an average of 100 percent. That may be little consolation for coastal homeowners who realize they are facing a huge increase and it’s just a matter of time.
A spokesperson for Citizens says board members will vote on the increase in November.