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Citizens Insurance rates could jump at least 7%

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors this week will consider a proposal that could lead to average rate increases of 7.3% for homeowners.

The proposal also could lead to average increases of 10.8% for condominium unit owners and 9% for renters, according to information released Monday by the state-backed insurer.

The board is scheduled to consider the proposal during a meeting Wednesday in Tampa. Ultimately, the state Office of Insurance Regulation would have to sign off on any increases, which would take effect in August.

The proposal comes as Citizens grapples with the addition of thousands of policies a week as struggling private insurers drop customers and seek large rate increases. Citizens had 741,420 policies as of Nov. 30, up from 725,942 at the end of October.

As additional illustrations of the growth, Citizens had 532,788 policies on Nov. 30, 2020, and 444,323 policies on Nov. 30, 2019, according to data posted on the Citizens website.

Many state leaders have long sought to move policies out of Citizens into the private market, at least in part because of financial risks to the state