Citizens Property Insurance Customers Brace for Steep Increases in Coming Months

Citizens Property Insurance has resubmitted its revised property insurance rate increases to the state. However, the majority of its customers can still expect to see double-digit hikes later this year.

The state-supported insurer forwarded its updated proposal to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation last week, as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat. The adjusted rates translate to an average uptick of 11.5 percent for customers with “multi-peril” policies, which constitute the most prevalent type of homeowners insurance offered by Citizens.

When factoring in other policy types such as mobile home and wind-only coverage, the average rate surge rises to 12.3 percent. Commercial policies are slated for an increase of 10.2 percent, according to documents provided for the Citizens Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 27.

Commercial customers will experience the new rates starting Nov. 20, while personal-line policies will face the higher rates from Dec. 16, according to the report.

Initially, Citizens proposed a 13.1 percent rate hike for personal line policies, which is the maximum allowable rate adjustment. In August, the Office of Insurance Regulation instructed Citizens to scale back some of the rate hikes.

“We’ve addressed [the Office of Insurance Regulation’s] concerns and believe that the rates we’re presenting to our board reflect those requested changes,” stated Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier.

According to the agenda for the forthcoming Board of Governors meeting, Citizens has suggested implementing the maximum allowable rate increases in “lines of business and areas of the state where Citizens’ rates were overly competitive.”

Created as a last-resort insurer for Floridians, Citizens now holds almost 1.4 million policies, accounting for 18 percent of the market, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Florida is rated as the most expensive state for homeowners insurance.

An ongoing insurance crisis in the state has led many insurers, most recently Farmers Insurance, to exit the market, resulting in higher rates for residents. More and more homeowners are compelled to procure policies from Citizens, whose policy count has surged by 175 percent since July 2020. Citizens were never intended to play such a substantial role in the insurance market, and last month, regulators took steps to shift 184,000 policies to private insurers.

Related article: Facing Financial Pressure: Commercial Property Owners Struggle with Skyrocketing Insurance Costs Amid Other Challenges


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