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Updated: 04/22/2013 05:59:32AM

Citizens role, risk must be reined in more

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Shielded from voters in an legislative session without a looming election, the Florida Senate is quickly moving on a bill that is aimed at further shoring up the finances and potential liability of Citizens Property, the state-run insurer of last resort that has grown into the largest policy underwriter in the state. While the bill currently in the Senate would raise a legislatively imposed annual rate increase cap from 10 to 13, opponents of the measure have been focusing on much higher rates increases for new customers, in some cases ranging from 60 to 137 percent higher than current new policy holders.

As we’ve stated before, Citizens has amassed an untenable liability exposure of more than $405 billion. Its 1.2 million commercial and residential customers have been paying below market rates that limit private insurer competition and shift the responsibility for buying property insurance from individuals and businesses to everyone else in the state collectively, regardless of their relative exposure to the threat of devastating hurricanes.

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