Citizens Property Rate Hike Bill in Limbo

Apr 26, 2011

The following article was published in the Bradenton Herald on April 26, 2011:

Citizens Property Insurance Rate Hike Bill in Limbo 

For the second day in a row, the Senate Budget committee on Tuesday failed to vote on SB 1714, the bill sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, that would increase rates for the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., policies up to 25 percent a year and force some policy holders out of the program. The bill would take some steps toward meeting Gov. Rick Scott’s stated goal of making Citizens the “insurer of last resort.”

So what’s the fate of the bill? “Don’t know,” committee chair J.D. Alexander told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.

Is it dead? “Don’t know,” Alexander said.

Word is that that Senate President Mike Haridopolos supports changing Hays’ bill so that Citizens could only increase its rates by 15 percent, which would put the Senate bill in line with the House’s bill, HB 1243. But Hays reportedly prefers a compromise of 20 percent. State statute currently only permits a 10 percent per year increase.

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