Fasano: Repeal Citizens rate law

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The News Service of Florida reports that Sen. Mike Fasano said Monday that lawmakers next year should repeal changes made earlier this year that allowed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s largest property insurer, to request rate increases that for sinkhole coverage could average nearly 450 percent. Requested average sinkhole rate increases in the Orlando area could be over 2,200 percent if the company’s proposed rate increase is approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation. Fasano, R-New Port Richey,  earlier called for a special session to consider trying to head off the rate increase, which was made possible by a change in law earlier this year. He acknowledged Monday that doesn’t appear likely to happen. “Right now, my goal is to convince OIR not to approve those rate increases,” he said. Previously, there was a limit of 10 percent on annual increases in the company’s rates. “That was done so people who were forced to have Citizens were not forced to have the large increases like we’re having now,” said Fasano, whose Senate district north of Tampa Bay is the area in the state that has seen the biggest increases in sinkhole claims. “They took the cap off and now we’re seeing the results. I believe we should, at the minimum, we should at least go back in there and put the cap back on so Citizens cannot be granted 2,200 percent increases.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.