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Miami-Date County condos hit with insurance rate increase

Sat Feb 25th, 2012 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

Condo owners in Miami-Dade County may see an increase in their condo association fees coming soon. State-run insurance company Citizens Property Insurance Corp. said they will start raising insurance rates for many high-rise condominiums in South Florida by roughly 21 percent, as reported by the Sun Sentinel.

The increase will being March 1 for new policies and April 1 for renewals. The insurance policies that will be affected by the increase are condo buildings that would cost $10 million or more to replace. The affected insurance policies are also those that with Citizens Property Insurance Corp., with policies that cover fire, theft, hurricane and other risks.

Condo buildings in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will be the most affect since Citizens has more than 80 percent of their 403 multi-peril building policies located in those counties.

This isn’t the first time Citizens has increased their rates for condominium buildings. In late 2009 and early 2010, the insurance company increased their statewide rates by 20 percent for condo buildings for windstorm-only and multi-peril policy holders.

One option condo associations may have is to keep wind-only insurance policies from Citizens and to look to private insurance companies for coverage for other risks such as fire, theft, and hurricanes. However, not every condo association will want or be able to afford having separate property insurance companies.

How are condo owners affected by this rate increase? Most condo associations pass rate increases to the unit owners as part of the homeowners’ association dues. Depending on how much or if all of the increase is attributed to each unit owner, the rate increase may have a deep impact on condo owners, especially for condo owners who lived on fixed incomes.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Sharp rise in insurance to hit some condos,” Paul Owers, Feb. 14, 2012

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