FIRM was well-represented at the Citizens Rate Hearing in Miami last week, and has sent a contigent to Tallahassee for Florida Keys Day this week.

The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) last week held rate hearings for Citizens proposed rate increases for 2019. In Monroe that means 7.6% for homeowners and 9.7% for condos, wind-only.

Along with our assertions that Monroe County is treated unfairly by the rate-setting method giving us the highest windstorm premiums in the state and twice the state average in premiums over claims, FIRM President Mel Montagne and Treasurer Joe Walsh pointed out that Citizens has not completed a task ordered by Commissioner Altmaier. In his 2018 Rate Orders that froze windstorm rates for Monroe County, Commissioner Altmaier directed Citizens to evaluate the models with the 2017 standards requiring county building codes to be reflected in the model results. Citizens has not completed this task; therefore, the rates should not be increased.

FIRM is taking the message to Tallahassee this week for Florida Keys Day also. In addition to the meetings organized by Rep. Raschein’s office, FIRM has one-on-one meetings scheduled with Commissioner Altmaier and Christine Ashburn of Citizens.

As in the past Citizens policyholders are invited to send their comments to the OIR at ratehearings@floir.com with “Citizens” in the subject line of the email. If you need inspiration you can read FIRM’s comments, use some of the nuggets from our 2019 Legislative Priorities, or even better, include your personal story about your windstorm rates. The deadline for submitting comments is 5:00 pm Friday, March 22.

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