Some Century Village residents already are paying rate increases of more than 400 percent, but there is relief in sight because of changes in how the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will assess condo associations, including those in Century Village.
The town hall meeting was sponsored by a contingent of Palm Beach County Democratic legislators, including state Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, and state Rep. Priscilla Taylor, D-West Palm Beach, who are seeking a special legislative session to address insurance reform. Klein is running for a congressional seat, and no one qualified in July to run against Taylor, who won another two-year term in the state Legislature.
The legislators urged attendees to write Gov. Jeb Bush and state House and Senate leaders to push for a special session. They referred residents to www.stormingmad.com, a Web site sponsored by the Florida Democratic Party, to learn more about the issue and e-mail legislators.
State Rep. Susan Bucher, D-Royal Palm Beach, said Citizens is quickly becoming the largest insurer in the state, something it was not designed to be, and that it is not helping keep rates stable. By law, Citizens’ rates are higher than those offered by private insurance companies. Major insurers in the state are seeking significant rate increases for homeowners, or already have gotten increases approved.
Roberta Fromkin, who is co-president of her homeowners association in Century Village, said the policy for their nine buildings went from roughly $200,000 to more than $800,000.
She said the owners of the 56 units in her building will pay an extra $110 a month — on top of the $60 a month they already pay — from September through December to pay for their Citizens insurance. However, changes just announced by Citizens could lower her association’s rate.
George Loewenstein, president of the umbrella group of homeowners associations in Century Village, said all 309 associations in Century Village will be switching over to Citizens by the end of the year and could face significant increases affecting all 7,854 condos in the community. He told residents they could face significant increases and to budget for them.