Fla. Senate votes to shift Citizens policies

Senators defending bill say it gives a choice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -  (AP) -- Homeowners seeking coverage from Citizens Property Insurance could wind up getting policies from unregulated out-of-state insurers.

   The Florida Senate on Friday voted 22-16 for a property insurance bill that could result in homeowners seeking coverage from Citizens to be shifted to a private surplus line insurance company. Surplus line companies are not subjected to the same regulations as companies based in the state.

   Several senators objected to the legislation, including Republicans who live in areas with heavy concentrations of customers with the state-created Citizens.

   Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, defended the bill and said it would give homeowners another choice for coverage.

   The Republican-led Legislature has taken steps the last few years to try to steer people away from Citizens. Citizens currently has slightly more than 938,000 policyholders.


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