The plan to make Citizens' Insurance more expensive - FOX 13 News

The plan to make Citizens' Insurance more expensive

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Think you're paying too much for home insurance now? State lawmakers have a plan that could cost you even more.

The Florida Senate Banking & Insurance Committee just approved a plan designed to reform and shrink state-run Citizens Insurance. If passed, it would drive up rates for homeowners across the state.

Supporters of the legislation say rates are too low, given the risk of insuring property in Florida. Critics say they are already stretched by rising premiums and cannot afford to pay much more.

"You spend less on everything else. You just keep whittling down," said St. Petersburg resident Myrtle Larson. "Within the last year, we had to shop around as insurance was going up. We had to go to Citizens at the time because they were the cheapest."

But many state lawmakers have a problem with that. They say Citizens should not offer better deals-- it should be a pricier option of last resort. So their plan would drive up rates at Citizens, boot higher-end homes out of the state pool, and give private insurance companies incentives that could also result in higher rates.

The idea is to have us pay more -- to encourage more private insurance companies to enter the market -- and reduce the risk to the state. The bill would also let private insurance companies borrow money from Citizens. To get it, they would have to take over polices from Citizens.

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