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Florida Dodges Storms But Gets Smacked By Rising Insurance Rates

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Florida has successfully dodged a major storm for a while now. But, the state's residents have not been so lucky at dodging rate increases on their property insurance.

Property insurance rates have been rising for millions of Floridians even though the state hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane in seven years.

According to an article from the Associated Press, premiums for the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance have gone up an average of 8.1 percent over the last four years: 

The average Florida homeowner is paying twice as much for insurance than just six years ago, according to industry statistics. In some areas, the increases are much higher. Data from the New York-based Insurance Information Institute shows homeowners' claims are up by an average of more than 17 percent over the past decade. They are virtually all due to non-catastrophe claims involving water. In many instances, they are claims for issues ranging from leaky toilets to burst water heaters. Florida 's rates have also been hurt by soaring claims on losses from sinkholes.

Even with those rate increases, Citizens said it would need to raise premiums across the board by 16.4 percent to be on firm financial footing.

Citizens' new president said right now the company still charges far less than a private company would.

Citizens has been criticized recently for trying to downsize by moving thousands of policy holders to private companies.