TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Citizens Property Insurance is heading back to the drawing board after the Office of Insurance Regulation said the insurer’s proposed rate hikes had to be reduced.
“A 12 percent increase would probably do it for me,” said James Nastelli.
And that spike could be what some Florida residents with the state-backed insurer could see.
“That just might put us over the edge,” Nastelli said. “Either we will go without insurance or sayonara. We’re gone.”
We first introduced you to Nastelli last year when he lost his insurance — he now has Citizens. He said he’s still paying too much.
“I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be doable for us,” Nastelli said.
But recently, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ordered Citizens to reduce their proposed rate hikes for some policy holders.
“In areas of the state where our rates were less competitive, less expensive, we tried to bring those rates more closely in line to what the private rates were in those particular markets,” explained Citizens Property Insurance spokesman Michael Peltier.
But the state regulator said that wasn’t allowed. It said Citizens’ rates shouldn’t be based on other insurers’ rates.
“So, I think, in terms of what the average policy holder is going to see, is an open question right now,” said Randy Dumm, the director of the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance at USF.
Dumm said it’s possible this reduced rate hike means less private insurers takeover more policies, since the Citizens’ rates would be further from what private insurers want to charge, but whether or not that happens is still up in the air.
“By having uncertainty related to the rate, and what the rate’s going to be,” Dumm said. “If you’re an insurance company, you want certainty knowing what the Citizens’ rate is, so you can price off of that.”
Citizens said it doesn’t have the final numbers yet on what the rates will be, but the order from the FLOIR gave the insurer 30 days to adjust the rate proposal.