Citizens insurance rate hike necessary
As a rule, we like insurance-rate increases about as much as we like hurricanes — not at all. However, the latest hike proposed by Citizens Property Insurance is necessary, and, in fairness, overdue.
Rates of the state-run insurance company have been frozen for three years. In the interim, the state’s mitigation program, which encourages property owners to install shutters and windproof their homes, has met with some success.
Holding the line on tough building codes and coastal development also helps to keep rates down.
But the hard truth is that, while these measures are necessary, they do not by themselves justify extending the freeze. It would be fiscally irresponsible to keep rates artificially low in the face of growing exposure and a reserve that is not keeping up.
It is in the interest of every Floridian, including those covered by Citizens’ 1.1 million policies, to ensure that the company is financially sound.
If it isn’t, everyone pays when there is not enough money in the reserve or in the catastrophe fund to cover damages from a storm. Those who are likely to feel the most pain are Citizens’ customers.
— The Miami Herald