Tampa hearing, Pasco rally focus on Citizens’ Property Insurance rate hike
Aug 13, 2011
The following article was published in the Tampa Tribune on August 13, 2011:
Tampa hearing, Pasco rally focus on Citizens’ rate hike
By Catherine Whittenburg
The state Office of Insurance Regulation will hold a hearing in Tampa next month on Citizens Property Insurance’s rate-hike request, including a proposed increase of more than 2,000 percent in some areas for optional sinkhole coverage.
Pasco County state Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. John Legg had asked Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to hold hearings on the proposed rate increase in areas where residents would be most affected. That would include in the Tampa Bay area, where sinkhole coverage rates would skyrocket.
The hearing, McCarty’s office announced Friday, will be at 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Tampa Convention Center.
Meanwhile, Fasano and the Policyholders of Florida consumer advocacy group have planned a protest against the rate hike on Tuesday in front of the Pasco County Government Center in New Port Richey. Fasano was among the most vocal opponents this year of the legislation allowing the rate increases.
Sean Shaw, founder of Policyholders of Florida, said his group will be at the hearing “in droves.”
In a statement, Fasano thanked McCarty for scheduling the hearing and encouraged affected consumers to fill the room. “The Office of Insurance Regulation needs to hear from the consumers who will be impacted if the proposed rates are approved. … This is the time to put an end to what could be the most onerous premium increase in recent memory.”