Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 121186
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File Number: 121186 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-521-12 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: OPPOSING A INCREASE BY CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE Introduced: 6/8/2012
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 6/19/2012
Agenda Date: 6/19/2012 Agenda Item Number: 11A8
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION OPPOSING A PROPOSAL BY CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION TO INCREASE PROPERTY INSURANCE RATES FOR NEW POLICIES BY MORE THAN THE 10 PERCENT ANNUAL CAP SET IN STATUTE; URGING THE FLORIDA OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION NOT TO APPROVE CITIZENS’ RATE CHANGE REQUEST RELATED TO THIS PROPOSAL; FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO TAKE WHATEVER STEPS ARE AVAILABLE TO ENSURE THAT CITIZENS ADHERES TO THE LEGISLATURE’S INTENT IN CAPPING CITIZENS’ RATE INCREASES AT 10 PERCENT PER YEAR
Indexes: PROPERTY
Sponsors: Joe A. Martinez, Prime Sponsor
  Lynda Bell, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 6/19/2012 11A8 Adopted P
REPORT: Chairman Martinez noted the purpose of this resolution was to urge the Florida Insurance representatives take heed to the new insurance rates that were being proposed by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. He stated that South Florida has been impacted by increasing insurance rates and he hope that the legislature sticks together on this item. The Board by motion, duly made, seconded and carried adopted the foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Moss commented that this item was sponsored by Chairman Martinez, who moved the item and was also the chairman for today’s (6/19) agenda. Commissioner Moss felt that it would be appropriate if the Vice-Chair assume the chair. In response to the discussion, County Attorney Robert Cuevas stated that protocol was followed by Chairman Martinez and he was allowed to move an item which he also sponsored. Later in the meeting County Attorney Robert Cuevas clarified for the record, that protocol was not followed for the vote previously taken for this item. Following further discussion, Chairman Martinez reconsidered the item that was improperly before the Board. The motion was then moved by Vice-Chairwoman Edmonson, seconded by Commissioner Sosa and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 11-0.

County Attorney 6/8/2012 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION OPPOSING A PROPOSAL BY CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION TO INCREASE PROPERTY INSURANCE RATES FOR NEW POLICIES BY MORE THAN THE 10 PERCENT ANNUAL CAP SET IN STATUTE; URGING THE FLORIDA OFFICE OF INSURANCE REGULATION NOT TO APPROVE CITIZENS’ RATE CHANGE REQUEST RELATED TO THIS PROPOSAL; FURTHER URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO TAKE WHATEVER STEPS ARE AVAILABLE TO ENSURE THAT CITIZENS ADHERES TO THE LEGISLATURE’S INTENT IN CAPPING CITIZENS’ RATE INCREASES AT 10 PERCENT PER YEAR

BODY
WHEREAS, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) is a state-created, notfor-profit governmental entity, the public purpose of which is to provide property insurance coverage to those unable to find affordable coverage in the private market; and
WHEREAS, during a special session in January, 2007, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter No. 2007-1, Laws of Florida (HB 1A), which froze Citizens’ rates at 2006 levels; and
WHEREAS, Citizens rates remained frozen until 2009, when the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter No. 2009-87, Laws of Florida (HB 1495), an omnibus property insurance bill, which among other provisions, implemented an incremental Citizens property insurance rate increase capped at 10 percent per year until Citizens rates were actuarially sound; and
WHEREAS, this provision provided that Citizens “shall implement a rate increase each year which does not exceed 10 percent for any single policy issued by Citizens, excluding coverage changes and surcharges”; and
WHEREAS, the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee analysis of HB 1495 indicated that this provision “implements a ‘glide path’ capped at 10 percent per year for Citizens policyholders until rates are actuarially sound” and that “the incremental rate increase was a recommendation of the Citizens Mission Review Task Force”; and
WHEREAS, Citizens recently released a proposal to exceed the 10 percent annual rate increase cap imposed by HB 1495 on new policies that Citizens writes; and
WHEREAS, Citizens officials assert that their action is legal because the 10 percent annual rate increase cap does not apply to new policies that are quoting an original rate, not a rate “increase” from an existing rate; and
WHEREAS, new policies, however, would include homeowners who are dropped by private insurers and who have no other insurance choices other than Citizens, as well as existing Citizens policyholders that Citizens drops and later reinstates; and
WHEREAS, the statewide average Citizens rate increase on new policies under this Citizen’s proposal has been estimated to be about 30 percent, but some areas could see substantially higher increases, including parts of Miami-Dade County were homeowner’s rates could rise as much as 95 percent; and
WHEREAS, were this Citizens proposal to be implemented, similarly situated homeowners could pay vastly different amounts for the same property insurance coverage with Citizens; and
WHEREAS, Citizens’ proposal is not consistent with the Legislature’s intent in passing HB 1495 in 2009, and given the language of HB 1495, some lawmakers have questioned whether Citizens’ proposal will withstand legal scrutiny; and
WHEREAS, Citizens’ proposal runs the risk of harming the housing market and local economy just as there are signs that the housing market is stabilizing; and
WHEREAS, during these difficult economic times, Miami-Dade County residents simply cannot afford what could be as high as a near doubling of Citizens rates under this proposal; and
WHEREAS, Senator Anitere Flores has indicated that she may file legislation for consideration during the 2013 session that would reinforce and clarify that the 10 percent rate increase cap applies to all policies, not just existing policies; and
WHEREAS, this Board desires to express its opposition to a Citizens proposal to increase property insurance rates by more than the 10 percent annual cap set in statute,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Opposes the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation proposal to increase property insurance rates for new policies by more than the 10 percent annual cap set in statute.
Section 2. Urges Citizens not to proceed with this proposal.
Section 3. Urges the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation not to approve Citizens’ rate change request.
Section 4. Urges the Florida Legislature to take whatever means may be available to enforce the policy it passed in HB 1495 that imposed a 10 percent per year cap on Citizens’ rate increases and to restate and clarify the Legislature’s intent that the 10 percent rate cap applied to all Citizens’ policies, including new policies.
Section 5. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation Florida's Insurance Commissioner, and the Interim President of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

Section 6. Directs the County’s state Lobbyist to advocate for the positions set forth in Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 above, and authorized and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2012 State Legislative Package to include this item and to include this item in the 2013 State Legislative Package when it is presented to the Board for approval.



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