Haven't We Had Enough Rate Increases?

Lead property insurance watchdog for Floridians, Tolusse Olorunnipa, of the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, wrote an article in today's news outlining Senate Bill 1770. He reports that this bill has "cruised" through the Senate with inflated estimates of worst case scenarios should a major hurricane hit the state. Citizens Insurance President Barry Gilway warned that insurance bills could soar more than 60 percent if the bill passes.

The bill is up for debate on the Senate floor today. Olorunnipa writes that rates for a new policy with Citizens could increase by as much as 50.8 percent in Pasco County, 73.2 percent in Pinellas County and 73.3 percent in Hernando. Additionally, sinkhole rates in Hernando county could nearly triple.

One of the inflated estimates of worst case scenarios came from the bill's sponsor, Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, who said, "If the hurricane doesn't even go through your area, your constituents will be assessed upwards of between $2,000 and $5,000 per year." Those numbers were clarified by Citizens as being outdated, and that a 1 in 100 year megastorm would only result in assessments of about $280 for non-Citizens policyholders.