Citizens insurance rates will soon climb for thousands of Floridians

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — In less than a month, one of Florida’s largest home insurers is raising their rates for a majority of their customers.

Some customers of Citizens Property Insurance will experience a rate increase on Sept. 1.

This comes after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on June 30 approved. an average rate increase of 6.4% for homeowners with “multi-peril” policies, which is by far the most common type of policy, according to FloridaRealtors.org.

Citizens had originally requested a 10.7% increase for multi-peril policies.

“When I got the bill, it had gone up $400,” Steve Eppley, a small business owner in Boynton Beach, told WPTV.

WPTV

Steve Eppley of Boynton Beach speaks on his frustration with rising home insurance rates.

Eppley told WPTV that his homeowners insurance increased earlier this year.

“I just don’t see the efficacy and viability of the insurance companies anymore,” Eppley said. “They’re not fair. They find every possible way not to pay you.”

Analysts who spoke with Contact 5 predict that more rate increases are on the horizon.

“Their ratings have downgraded, and so it’s causing a rate hike for all property owners in Florida,” Rafael Perez, with the property improvement financing company Ygrene, said.

Rafael Perez, works for property improvement financing company Ygrene, discusses home insurance costs increasing

WPTV

Rafael Perez explains what residents can do to reduce costs on their home insurance premiums.

Perez told WPTV the best thing homeowners can do right now is to make improvements to their homes now, like replacing their roof and windows, especially ahead of a storm.

“I think if we get a storm, it’s going to be tough. I think everyone who owns property should protect themselves and fortify their homes, makes changes,” he said.

Some Floridians, like Eppley, are considering other options, like dropping their home insurance and self-insuring once their house is paid off.

“I’ll just save, whatever I was paying, the premium, I’ll save it. The roof blows off, I’ll have the money for the roof,” Eppley said.

It’s a last resort, but a risk Eppley said he is willing to take.

“It’s too much. The average American is just getting taken advantage of,” he said.

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