McCarty dramatically cuts Citizens rate request

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has dramatically slashed the amount that the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. can charge home and business owners for sinkhole coverage.

McCarty ruled Monday night that Citizens was unable to provide evidence to support its intention to raise rates on an average of more than 440 percent on sinkhole coverage. He instead set the maximum at 32.8 percent for new policies that take effect after Jan. 1, 2012.

Florida’s largest insurer of homes and businesses with more than 1.4 million policyholders agreed last week that it would lower a proposed rate hike for sinkhole coverage.

The Legislature passed a broad property insurance bill earlier this year that they said would help drive down costs for private insurers and stabilize the state’s fragile market.

Source: Associated Press