Regulators OKs Citizens' Increases for Homeowners

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's insurance regulators are approving double-digit rate increases for customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
The Office of Insurance Regulation said Tuesday it has approved a 10.8 percent increase on multi-peril homeowners' policies and an 8.8 percent hike on dwelling fire rates. Homeowners with sinkhole coverage will see an increase of 21.4 percent on their bills and those with dwelling fire policies wanting sinkhole coverage will be increased by 44.8 percent. Most increases take effect Jan. 1.
Citizens' has been boosting its rates in recent years to reach parity with private commercial carriers in hopes of shedding hundreds of thousands of policies. Originally designed as the "insurer of last resort," it has instead become the largest insurer of homes and businesses in Florida with roughly 1.4 million customers.

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