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III: Florida’s Citizens is Selling Insurance at a Loss

 Monday, September 19, 2022

 E&E News

Long known as the nation’s most hurricane-prone state, Florida has achieved a new status that is aggravating hurricane anxieties and threatening real-estate values. Florida has the worst property-insurance market.

Four Florida insurance companies have declared bankruptcy since April, and others are canceling or not renewing policies. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to buy property coverage through the state-created insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

‘Every day, there’s another company that seems to be going insolvent,’ Citizens CEO Barry Gilway said at a recent public meeting.

The number of Citizens policies recently passed 1 million for the first time since early 2014 and could reach nearly 2 million by the end of 2023, according to a Citizens projection. Two years ago, Citizens insured just over 510,000 Florida properties. Gilway called the policy growth ‘incomprehensible.’

Floridians now have the highest property-insurance rates in the nation, according to the industry-funded Insurance Information Institute. The average premium is $4,231 -- nearly triple the U.S. average of $1,544.
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