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Citizens' Own Sinkhole Cap Factored in Lowered Rate

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said the actions of the board of directors of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the night before a public hearing last week in Tampa, factored into the lower sinkhole rate.

If you look at what Citizens board members did the Monday (Sept. 12) before that hearing, they put in a cap, and what they put in the cap is very similar to what we ultimately approved, McCarty said.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation late Monday night lowered the requested sinkhole rate request for Citizens from an average of 447 percent to 32.8 percent, declaring Citizens failed to provide enough credible data to justify the full increase at this time.

State insurance regulators had been deluged Sept. 13 in Tampa by angry residents and state legislators regarding the rate request, and announced they would make a decision by Monday on the requested spike by the state-backed property insurer that had a high of 2,226.1 percent in Orange County.

The night before the Tampa meeting, Citizens board members tried to temper some of the growing anger by agreeing to cap the proposed hike at 50 percent in the coming year, seeking the additional increase in following years.

The state regulatory office noted that while the severity of sinkhole claims has increased, Citizens failed to provide enough data to support the claim justifying the full increase.

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