Tuesday, November 28

Some Florida residents seeing lower insurance rates, but there’s a catch

A number of Citizens Insurance policyholders are beginning to see offers of lower rates with private insurers.

It’s part of the state’s ongoing depopulation program to reduce numbers for the state-backed insurer of last resort.

But these lower insurance rates come with a warning.

Robert Norberg of Arden Insurance in Lantana said it’s also happening in Palm Beach County with some of the offers from Citizens to switch to private insurance.

“Some of the offers coming in are a lot lower than what they’re seeing with Citizens,” Robert Norberg said. “However, the caveat is that may not be the end game when they get their renewal.”

Norberg explained that the assumptions letters and offers may not hold as other factors keep forcing insurance rates to climb.

“A lot of them are saying, ‘Hey here’s our rate today. This is what we’re offering,'” Norberg said, “but, by the time they get to that renewal, they may have gotten a new rate increase or two rate increases in this marketplace, and that consumer then is hit with that new now rate.”

That new rate may be a lot more, and Norberg said he’s seeing it happen, driving some people right back to Citizens.

Norberg said any significant rate reductions will likely first be felt along the Treasure Coast and in Florida counties located further north.

“Anything north of the Palm Beach County line starts to see a drop in rates,” Norberg said. “Dade, Broward, Palm Beach (counties) are considered the hit zone. The biggest rates for all of the windstorm coverage.”

State officials in Florida are still hopeful about six new companies coming to the state to do business creating more competition and eventually bringing lower insurance costs to all Floridians.

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