State Senator Mike Fasano will testify at the Office Insurance Regulation’s rate hearing today in opposition to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s application for a premium increase. Fasano, long a vocal critic of Citizens and its repeated attempts to increase rates while reducing coverage and related services, will be in Miami for the hearing this afternoon. The application, as filed, seeks an 11.1 % statewide average increase on residential coverage and a 50% increase for sinkhole coverage in Pasco and Hernando Counties.
“Citizens has filed a premium rate increase that, given the myriad negative circumstances surrounding this insurance company, is not warranted and, frankly, is the epitome of arrogance,”Fasano states. “This is a company that has strayed from its mission to serve its policyholders to one of indulgence and putting its own needs first.”
Senator Fasano will stress the recently exposed corporate mindset that has resulted in lavish overseas trips, expensive hotel rooms and meals for executives and certain board members as examples of why the insurer must first get its own fiscal house in order. Additionally, Fasano will point out the many problems policyholders have experienced with the loss of wind mitigation credits and difficulties with re-inspections as just some of the factors that need to be addressed before any rate application should be considered.
“Before the Office of Insurance Regulation grants any premium increase it is my opinion that Citizens must first address its internal and customer service policies,” Fasano states. “The company owes this to its policyholders first and foremost.”