For the first time in over four years, Citizens Property Insurance ("Citizens") has voted to lower rates for approximately 70 percent of its customers. For everyone else, however, there will be yet another year of increases. The rate change was recommended at the quarterly meeting of the Citizens' Board of Governors. It must go before the Office of Insurance Regulation to obtain final approval.
While base rates vary from policy to policy, our Miami property damage insurance lawyers found that Citizens is proposing rate cuts of about 4.3 percent for Miami-Dade County homeowners with so-called "multi-peril policies"-policies that include protection against wind, fire, and theft. Policies with similar protections will see a 7.3 percent average drop in Broward County.
For condominium owners in South Florida, however, rates will increase rather than drop. The average policy rate for condo owners will rise 6.4 percent in Miami-Dade, 3.2 percent in Broward, and 1.4 percent in Monroe.
Rate increases will additionally occur for most coastal homeowners who have wind-only policies written by Citizens. Those with wind-only policies in Broward will experience a 5.3 percent rate increase. Monroe homeowners will see a 7.9 percent increase, while Miami-Dade wind-only policy holders will not experience a rate change.
Citizens' officials state that these lower rates for some homeowners were made possible primarily due to the decline in re-insurance costs and the fact that Florida has not experienced a hurricane in the past eight years.
If the state regulators approve the board's current recommendation, the statewide average decrease will be 6 percent for homeowners and 22 percent for renters. Condo owners will see rates raise an average of 9 percent. Commercial property owners will experience an average increase of about 8 percent.
Also at the meeting of the Governor's, the board recommended keeping the rates for sinkhole claims the same except in Hernando County, where rates will rise 10 percent.
While the proposed rate reductions will benefit many homeowners across the state, Miami-Dade condo owners will not experience such relief. On perhaps an even more positive note, however, this vote to reduce rates means that Citizens is adequately funded in the event of a hurricane or other major natural disaster. This means that should your property become damaged in a serious event, Citizens should have no trouble paying the claim.
If you are struggling with a homeowners' insurance claim or your claim has been denied, an experienced homeowners' insurance attorney can walk you through the process and towards a successful payout.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Miami Homeowners Insurance Superlawyers
A home is one of the most expensive purchases that a person can make. In addition to the fact that insurance is a required component of obtaining and keeping a home mortgage, it also is the safety net for any repairs or rebuilds that might be necessary after a devastating event. When a claim is denied, a homeowner may feel that he has nowhere to turn. However, the skilled Homeowners' Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than 120 years of combined experience in getting justice for homeowners. Our dedication to our clients has led to an "AV" rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firm, and, we have earned the title of "Superlawyers," designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.