Florida regulators weigh property insurance rate hikes

Florida regulators weigh property insurance rate hikes

State insurance regulators on Wednesday delved into a request by Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. to raise residential property-insurance rates by an overall average of 31.9 percent.

Centauri is one of a series of property insurers that have sought hefty rate increases, pointing to issues such as losses from water-damage claims and increased expenses for reinsurance, which is essentially insurance for insurers.

A panel from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation held an hour-long hearing Wednesday on Centauri's request, with the agency expected to decide whether to approve the proposal in the coming weeks. Rate hikes would vary for customers based on factors such as locations and types of homes.

As an example, Centauri is requesting an average 33.2 percent increase for the most-common type of homeowner policies and is seeking an average 25.7 percent hike for condominium-unit owner policies.

The water-related losses deal with claims for such things as busted pipes and do not stem from hurricanes.

The Centauri increases, if approved, would take effect Nov. 15 for new policies and Jan. 15 for renewals.

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