Florida property owners who purchased coverage from the state’s run property insurer have seen their premiums increase by an average $476 as a result of the insuring inspecting their property.
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. launched a program last year to inspect homes after it suspected that some policyholders were getting hurricane mitigation discounts they didn’t deserve for supposedly upgrading their protection against windstorm damage.
As of May, the insurer had conducted more than 32,000 inspections, resulting in policyholders, on average, seeing their premiums increase by $476 for a total of $15.5 million. According to the insurer’s Market Accountability Advisory Committee, the insurer rescinded discounts for 60 percent of those inspected, while handing out discounts to eight percent of the affected policyholders.
The committee reported that around 15 percent of the insurer’s 17,365 policyholders up for renewal in May dropped their coverage, probably due to the higher costs. Forty-five of those policyholders were condominium buildings and another 15 percent were homeowners and condominium unit owners.
Policyholder premiums are expected to rise by $23 million this year based on the inspection program. The amount is more than exceeds the cost of the program, on which Citizens plans on spending $14.5 million this year. That pricetag includes $10.8 million for three companies conducting the inspections.