Citizens Insurance proposes lower rates

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Citizens Property Insurance Corp. estimates that about 70 percent of policyholders would see an average 3.2 percent reduction in base rates under a proposal for 2015 before the insurer's Board of Governors on Wednesday in Orlando.

Mobile-home rates will go down more: 3.9 percent on average.

"That's very good news for people, what you'll have is approximately 70 percent of our policy holders will be receiving a rate decrease," said Citizens Insurance spokeswoman Lori Rodriguez.

Unfortunately, the other 30 percent of Citizens' customers -- most of them commercial policies -- will see their base rates go up about 10 percent under the plan.

Citizens pointed to a number of factors for the changes, from "increasingly reasonable rates" for reinsurance to a reduction in the number of policies under Citizens that has decreased the overall exposure for the state-backed agency. A drop in rates doesn't preclude the overall cost of a customer's premium -- the total amount that a policyholder pays for coverage -- from going up.

If the rate change is approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the new rates will take effect in January.

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