Florida home insurance rates on rise again
Property insurers are seeking rate hikes to cover reinsurance costs and to make up revenue they claim was lost due to higher wind mitigation credits.
BY BEATRICE E. GARCIA
The respite from rapidly rising insurance rates is ending for Florida homeowners.
State regulators approved an average 19 percent statewide increase for Federated National Insurance.
The insurer, a subsidiary of 21st Century Holdings in Lauderdale Lakes, has 30,889 policies in Florida.
Northern Capital Group was approved for a 10 percent hike on the policies it has taken out of Citizens Property Insurance, the state-run insurer.
Both companies said the rate increases will cover higher reinsurance costs and make up some of the revenue they’ve lost due to higher wind mitigation credits they must provide.
Nearly half a dozen companies have applied for rate increases or are working on filings.
United Property & Casualty has asked for a 12 percent average statewide increase. Southern Fidelity and its sister company, Capitol Preferred, have requested a 7.2 percent average statewide increase.
In July, Citizens began to submit its filing for its first rate increase in three years. Its rates have been frozen since 2007.
Citizens is limited to a 10 percent increase, due to a new law passed in May.
But its initial staff analysis found that some areas of the state could be due rate decreases.
“Insurance Commissioner [Kevin] McCarty told the governor and Cabinet last week that insurance companies now need to shore up their claims-paying abilities through modest rate increases,” said Lisa Miller, former deputy commissioner and consultant to many Florida-based insurance companies.