The state’s insurer of last resort decided Thursday to delay a vote on whether to increase its homeowners rates by an average of 55 percent, following requests from lawmakers to defer its action until after a special legislative session next month.
The decision by Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s board of governors means a reprieve at least for 980,000 of its customers. The January special session will be Florida’s latest attempt to tackle the problem of skyrocketing insurance rates.
The state-created Citizens sells wind coverage to homeowners who can’t get it from private insurers. The board first said it had to approve the increase because of a law passed this year. It requires Citizens to charge rates high enough for it to buy private backup reinsurance, even though it doesn’t purchase such coverage.
But the board heeded calls from House Speaker Marco Rubio and others for the delay. Several lawmakers said the Legislature may repeal the part of the law on backup coverage at the special session.