Citizens board approves 8.8% insurance rate hike

MIAMI — The governing board of Florida's insurer of last resort has approved an 8.8 percent rate increase for most homeowner policyholders beginning next year.

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. board also decided not to impose a $15,000 cap on non-flood water damage, opting to study that further.

State-backed Citizens is Florida's largest property insurer with 1.4 million customers. Its rates by law cannot rise more than 10 percent per year.

Many private home insurers abandoned Florida because of the threat of catastrophic hurricane damage. Others have sharply raised rates because of the risk.

The Citizens rate increase would be higher for homeowners in areas at most risk for sinkholes.

The proposed increase must be approved by state regulators.

Citizens is cutting policies to reduce its potential exposure to major hurricane damage.

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