TALLAHASSEE — There is little relief coming for homeowners facing crushing rate increases after being nudged (some would say shoved) out of the state-run property insurance company. And those left in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. could be facing big increases of their own because of another failure in the Legislature.
In short, it was a bad year in the Florida Legislature for consumers both in and out of Citizens. On both fronts legislators had bills lined up in the final days of the Legislature that would have addressed both topics. But when the dust settled and the annual session ended earlier this month, the bill to help those moved out of Citizens had been neutered and the other to address increasing water claims against Citizens that threaten to spike rates was killed altogether.
Some good consumer protections survived, but State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, admitted that it was with a “heavy heart” she had to agree to kill her proposal that would have allowed homeowners steered out of Citizens to return within three years if they get hit with some of the astronomical rate increases she said homeowners are often facing after they leave Citizens. She cited examples of homeowners in Miami-Dade getting hit with 200 percent premium increases just a year or two after being kicked out of Citizens.