Citizens Property Insurance approves rate hikes for Florida homeowners

MAITLAND, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s state-created property insurer is moving ahead with a rate hike for 2018.

The board that oversees Citizens Property Insurance voted unanimously Tuesday on a proposal to raise homeowner rates an average 5.3 percent and commercial accounts by an 8.4 percent average. State regulators must approve the hike before it can take effect in February.

Citizens has more than 451,000 customers, many of them living near the coast or in south Florida.

Citizens officials contend rate hikes are needed to deal with claims and lawsuits associated with water losses not associated with storms.

The proposed hikes vary by the type of policy purchased and location. South Florida homeowners could be paying more next year, while residents in other coastal counties could be paying less.

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