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Citizens to file for 7.2% rate rise as Florida market hardens

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Florida’s state-owned insurer of last resort is planning to increase rates by 7.2%, as it responds to continued rising loss costs.

The Citizens board will consider the proposal on Tuesday that will push up rates from August 1, pending the approval of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Citizens said on Monday that homeowners’ rates will go up 6.1%, condo owners' insurance will soar 9.4% and renters' insurance will rise by 4% under the proposals.

“Citizens is required by law to recommend actuarially sound rates, while complying with a legislative glide path that caps individual rate increases at 10%, excluding coverage changes and surcharges,” said the state-owned insurer in a statement.

The insurer of last resort’s rate rises were initially expected to be less punishing, with the board of governors in December mulling an average personal lines increase of 3.7%. However, following a review by Citizens’ actuaries, the rate rises will now be considerably higher, varying between 4.6% in Taylor county and 9.5% in Osceola.

Citizens customers in Dade county, Florida’s most populous, will face a 4.6% rate rise under the proposals, which come as private insurers pass rising reinsurance costs onto personal lines customers.

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