Class action suit filed against Citizens Insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- An 82-year-old woman from the Tampa Bay area trying to survive on a meager social security check is among customers of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. suing the insurer for the way it calculates replacement values.

Ruth Lauro said Tuesday that she isn't sure how long she'll be able to remain in her New Port Richey home of 33 years after her monthly homeowners insurance premium was increased $69. Lauro said she receives $630 monthly from Social Security.

Sen. Mike Fasano said independent estimates on the replacement value on Lauro's home is about half of the Citizens estimate.

Citizens' spokeswoman Christine Ashburn said the insurer's goal is to establish an accurate replacement cost valuation to protect its policyholders and make sure they can restore their home after a catastrophic loss.

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