Friday, August 10, 2012

Fla. Casualty Insurer Begins Yanking Homeowner Discounts For Hurricane Protections; Some Suspect Effort A Pretext To Jack Up Rates & Dodge 10% Cap

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

  • Citizens Property Insurance's push to inspect homes and revoke discounts for hurricane-resistant features has drawn fire and questions.

    Premiums went up for nearly three-fourths of the 225,502 homeowners who have had the inspections. About 7 percent had decreases, and there was no change for 18 percent. The average inspection resulted in a $598 increase.

    State-backed Citizens is the largest property insurer in Florida with 1.4 million policies.

    We answer common questions about the inspections.

    Why is Citizens doing the inspections?

    Citizens found many forms used to verify discounts weren't filled out correctly and it appeared some customers were getting discounts they didn't deserve. Citizens plans to conduct about 138,000 more residential inspections this year.

    Some people think Citizens is using the inspections as a back-door way to raise premiums more than 10 percent a year – a cap set by state law. Citizens estimates premiums increased by $137 million based on inspections done so far. The insurer has spent $35 million on the inspections.
For more, see Citizens revokes hurricane-proofing discounts (Inspections draw fire and questions).

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