MIAMI (FOX 13) –
The state-run Citizens Insurance isn’t exactly making friends around the Tampa Bay area, with the company saying sinkhole rates on average should be about 263 percent higher than they are right now.
And that’s not going over well with residents in areas like Pasco and Hernando, where sinkholes are everywhere.
At a meeting Monday in Miami, we learned sinkhole coverage is just one part of this. Citizens wants to raise rates by an average of seven and a half percent next year across the board.
As you can imagine, homeowners aren’t happy, and many showed up Monday to give the insurance company a piece of their mind. The proposed statewide rate increase comes to about $173 million in higher costs.
Board members say they are necessary, and the company needs the extra money to offset all the compensation it’s had to pay out.
On top of those across the board increases, the company is also proposing separate hikes for sinkhole rates, which means hold onto your wallet if you live in Pasco or Hernando.
Citizens says people who live in those areas should be paying an average of $4,000 to $10,000 more each year for sinkhole insurance.
But the board said it will try to phase in those costs over time to ease the pain. It also says its rates are about 60 percent less than what the private sector charges, and it’s just trying to keep up.
The company is set to vote next week on the amount of rate increase it will ask for from the state. The new CEO says it will take Monday’s complaints from homeowners into consideration.