If you happen to be at or near the Florida Senate Office Building at the State Capitol Building this morning, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) is conducting a public hearing in Room 401 at 9:00 AM to discuss Citizens’ proposed 2016 rate changes. Whether the rate increases or decrease, the proposed changes would have a direct impact on premiums paid by those insured under a Citizens commercial property, homeowners, or mobile home policy. This is a unique opportunity to not only listen to what State officials and Citizens spokespeople have to say about the state-wide proposed rate changes, which would become effective on February 1, 2016, but also a chance for those who would be affected to share their own thoughts and any concerns.

According to the Citizens rate filings, HO-3 Policies (all-peril homeowners) face an average 0.9% increase. The rate changes, however, vary from county to county. For example, the proposed rate increase for HO-3 policies in Dade County would be much higher: 7.8%. Rates for HO-6 Policies (Condominium) would increase an average 6.0%, but several counties—including Charlotte, DeSoto, Escambia, Flagler, St. Lucie and Polk County—would increase by 10% or more.

The Public Hearing Agenda posted on the FOIR’s website indicates that several officials from the FOIR, including Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarthy, will speak at tomorrow morning’s public hearing. Amongst the representatives from Citizens presenting at the hearing is Citizens’ President, CEO and Executive Director, Barry Gilway. The FOIR is also providing interested parties who plan on attending the hearing an opportunity to given written and/or oral comments or testimony. There will be speaker sign-in sheets at the registration table before the hearing begins, which can also be downloaded in advance. If you cannot attend but also don’t want to miss the action, The Florida Channel will be live-streaming the public hearing on its website. A recording should be posted sometime after the hearing on the FOIR’s website.

Regardless of whether you can attend and/or speak at the public hearing on August 25th, the FOIR is welcoming members of the general public to submit their comments about Citizens’ proposed 2016 rate filings by e-mail toRateHearings@floir.com. Additional instructions on how to submit comments to the FOIR, and details regarding the public hearing, can be found on the FOIR’s website under “Citizens Public Hearing.”