FIRM and the undersigned Monroe County leaders urgently call upon you to deny or delay the proposed rate increase.

August 13, 2016

Commissioner David Altmaier
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
200 E. Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Commissioner Altmaier,

FIRM and the undersigned Monroe County leaders urgently call upon you to deny or delay the proposed Citizens Property Insurance Co. (CPIC) rate increase at the August 18, 2016 rate hearing.

The legislation creating CPIC as the insurer of last resort reads in part as follows: “The State, therefore, has a compelling public interest and a public purpose to assist in assuring that property in the State is insured, and that it is insured at affordable rates…” CPIC has been raising rates continuously, well ahead of the cost of living. Furthermore, since 2003, policyholders in Monroe County have paid over $600 million in premiums in excess of paid claims. The persistent rate increases by CPIC violate a legislative mandate and threaten the economy of our communities and exacerbate the crisis in affordable housing.

The Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology has approved four catastrophe models, yet CPIC continues to base the rates on the model which is the highest of the four, and at least two of the other models do not support these proposed rates. A delay, at minimum, will offer time to determine why there is discrepancy in the models and which should be used in the future.Citizens now has more than $7 billion in surplus and the state hurricane fund with $17 billion at hand, plus offshore coverage which provides more than $2 billion in supplemental claims-paying ability.A rate increase is not only discriminatory but unjustified.

As determined by your office, Monroe County has no viable alternatives to CPIC for windstorm insurance. Without meaningful alternatives to CPIC, your rate review of CPIC’s request is critical. FIRM and the residents of Monroe County are requesting your office to deny or delayCPIC’s proposal for further rate increases.Representative Raschein has also submitted a formal request through her legislative office which we support, and we encourage you to give these important requests your consideration.


Mel Montagne, President, FIRM

Senator Anitere Flores, District 37
Representative Holly Raschein, District 120
Mayor Heather Carruthers, Monroe County
Mayor Craig Cates, City of Key West
Mayor Mark Senmartin, City of Marathon
Mayor Norman Anderson, City of Layton
Mayor Deb Gillis, Islamorada, Village of Islands
Virginia A. Panico, President, Florida Keys Federation of Chambers of Commerce
Kim Works, President, The Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce
Bill Kinsey, President, Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce
Bill Kelly, Chairman, Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce
Joe Roth, President, Islamorada Chamber of Commerce
Theresa Yong, Chair, Key Largo Chamber of Commerce
Jodi Weinhofer, President, Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West
Michael Petro, President, Key West Association of Realtors
Kristen Brenner, President, Marathon and Lower Keys Association of Realtors
Joel Young, President, The Florida Keys Board of Realtors

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