Policy holders unhappy with Citizens Insurance $6 billion surplus

$6 billion suprlus for Citizens insurance

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The historic look of this home attracted Renee Rattray and her family to West Palm Beach.

The most unattractive part though, her rising property insurance bill through Citizens insurance.

It's more than $9,000 annually.

"We don't get any breaks because we have an old roof and old windows and it's gotten to a point where we can't afford it anymore," Rattray said.

Head a few blocks over and Russel Kelly's elderly mother is about to drop her Citizens policy.

Not by choice though, Kelly said the company told his mother their 50-year-old roof is too much of a liability.

"We're confident that this roof is in tact and hopefully we will withstand any storm that will come along," Kelly said.

Rising rates, reduced coverage and seven years of little storm damage now pad the pockets of Citizens insurance.

The company is  more than $6 billion in the black.
 
Citizens insurance executives met in Tallahassee today to discuss the company's budget and while no decision was made on what to do with the surplus, Rattray doesn't trust their decision making.

"Because they're our only option they can do whatever they want to do," she said.

Superstorm Sandy's devastation makes Kelly think Citizens executives may need to keep the large surplus on standby ready for the next big storm.

"You roll the dice every year so insurance definitely has a role to play," Kelly said.

Because of reduced coverage, Kelly will roll the dice next hurricane season.

Rattray is also rolling the dice placing her bets on paying her kids college education, instead of rising insurance rates.

Citizens  property insurance was created to protect homes private insurance companies deemed too risky.

Two decades after hurricane Andrew, citizens is the largest insurance company in Florida.

There's no word yet on when a decision will be made on the surplus money.

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