Citizens: Rate hikes, policy changes needed

Posted at 2:23 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 14:23:01-05

MAITLAND, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's largest property insurer wants to eliminate caps on rate hikes and limit what homeowners can do if they have water damage.

The state-created Citizens Property Insurance is pushing for the changes to combat lawsuits tied to water damage claims.

Citizens Property Insurance President Barry Gilway said Wednesday that a rise in lawsuits over claims is "insane," particularly in South Florida.

Gilway said claims are rising even though the number of Citizens policyholders is getting smaller. It is projected to drop to under 500,000 by the end of this year.

Gilway said it may be time to get rid of Florida's current 10 percent-a-year cap on premium hikes.

Citizens also want to place limits on how much homeowners can spend on emergency repairs.