Florida Property Insurance Changes Will Affect Most Homeowners

Florida Property Insurance Changes Will Affect Most Homeowners

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other destructive storms, getting affordable property insurance hasn’t been easy. Many private insurers shed high risk clients after storms in 2004-2005, and raised assessments for others. For those who could no longer afford private insurance (or who were declared uninsurable by private insurers), state insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp is the last resort.

Over the last year, the state has been attempting to keep property insurance rates low for those who are insured with CPIC. According to critics of the latest property insurance changes, however, Florida residents who are insured by private companies will end up paying more so that the rates can stay low for those insured by the state-owned company. The last week of March saw the Florida Senate approve some changes to property insurance that might end up increasing property insurance rates by around 3%.

The bill was backed by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and approved by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. The intended effect is to reduce Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund by billion. This means the state can reduce its investment in CPIC and therefore reduce its risk.

At the same time, however, the state has also voted to freeze CPIC insurance rates through to the end of 2009. CPIC insures more than 1.3 Florida residents, and the rate freeze that occurred last year was done to avoid an