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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 20, 201612:00 PM EST

Citizens Property Insurance rate hikes approved for 2017

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The majority of homeowners with Citizens Property Insurance should expect to see a rate increase next year, after the Office of Insurance Regulation approved most of the changes requested by the state-backed insurer.

The new rates will go into effect on Feb. 1. Citizens requested the increase primarily to cover a surge in water-damage claims.

“The 2017 rates reflect the growing challenge of rising water loss claims and the disturbing increased costs associated with assignment of benefits,” Citizens President & CEO Barry Gilway said in a news release. “Unless the Legislature takes action, our policyholders can expect these increases for years to come.”

Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier adjusted down the request on homeowners’ multiperil accounts from 6.8 percent to 6.4 percent, but regulators approved the rest of Citizens’ requests without change.

Homeowners’ wind-only insurance in coastal areas will increase an average 8.2 percent and mobile homeowners’ multi-peril accounts will go up by 5.7 percent.

The actual premium change for individual policyholders depends on a number of factors, including the amount of coverage and the location of the property.

A homeowner with multiperil coverage in Miami faces an average hike of 9.9 percent while the same coverage in Orlando on average will decrease by 3.6 percent.

Citizens projects that, of its 492,775 personal and commercial policies in place as of Sept. 9, about 100,000 will see rate reductions next year.

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