The State's largest homeowners insurance, the state created insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance, is being accused of trying to raise rates and dumping policies in an effort to reduce its size and its exposure.
Citizens Property Insurance is holding a conference on Friday, today, to discuss how to proceed forward. This meeting has many up in arms because only lawmakers were invited.
At issue are numerous claims that the insurer has raised rates, in many cases doubling premiums, and a planned exit to what it considers high risk areas, the very places the insurer was created to cover as private insurers began pulling out of the state after extensive losses from hurricanes, year after year.
In one case, a man in New Port Richey bought a home for $109,000 and purchased homeowners insurance from Citizens Property Insurance, but 30 days after closing, Citizens told him they are re-appraising his house to $236,700, more than double what the bank and the appraiser at the time said it was worth, and then doubled his premiums as a result.
Consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against Citizens Property Insurance, claiming that it is unfairly forcing homeowners to carry more coverage than their property is worth in the hope they will switch to a private insurer.