South Florida State Farm customers may see rates decrease

Oct 12, 2012

The following article was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on October 12, 2012:

South Florida State Farm Customers May See Rates Decrease

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE — Homeowners still covered by State Farm Florida Insurance Co. in heavily populated South Florida would see average rates decrease by up to 8.4 percent under rates approved last month.

Details released this week by the Office of Insurance Regulation show State Farm would reduce rates for more than 57,000 homeowner policies in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, which bear some of the state’s highest insurance costs.

The company, the state’s third largest property insurer, was granted a 6.4 percent statewide increase for homeowners for policies that kick in or are renewed in early 2013. State Farm, once the state’s largest property insurer, now has about 403,000 homeowners policies across the state, according to Insurance Regulation data.

Overall, about one in three State Farm homeowners will see premium decreases of up to 10 percent. Another one in three would see premiums increase by a similar amount. Earlier this month, the Office of Insurance Regulation approved an average 10.8 percent rate hike for homeowners covered by Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which has more than 1.4 million policies.

Since 2009, the Office has approved increases for State Farm five times. The rates come as the company has reduced its exposure in Florida.

Under the approved rates, Broward County customers would see rates fall about $305 per year, or 8.4 percent. That would translate into an average premium of $3,334 per year.

Miami-Dade homeowners would see rates drop 4.4 percent, or $161, in 2013 to $3,483 per year. Palm Beach County homeowner premiums would drop to $2,388, a 7.7 percent reduction.

The homeowners rate details were included among a package of rates that come weeks after the regulators approved overall hikes for the company. Regulators also approved rate adjustments for rental property and condominium owners.

Renters, on average, would see rates climb by about 6 percent, while condo owners will see average rates drop 5 percent.

Among other changes, most policyholders will see deductibles increase from $500 to $1,000.