Florida Insurance Rates: Group suing Citizens Insurance will file more lawsuits today over homeowners replacement cost questions

11:51 AM, Feb 13, 2012   |    comments
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The 10 News Investigators have learned the group suing Citizens Insurance over its insurance practices will file more lawsuits Monday.

We've learned that group -- FAIR -- will be filing class-action lawsuits against private insurance companies Monday.

Those suits will go along with the cases they've already begun against Citizens.

The 10 News Investigators have been leading the way on this. Following reports by 10 News last fall, allegations surfaced.

The claims: insurance companies statewide are setting the replacement costs of some homes extraordinarily high -- much higher than they should be.

That means the companies can charge you more to insure your house. The technique lets them make more money and dodge state laws that limit how much they can raise your rates.

That practice is what led the group FAIR -- Florida Association for Insurance Reform -- to the steps of the state Capitol last week.

FAIR announced it's suing Citizens Insurance over the issue. Citizens is run by the state and backed up by Florida taxpayers.

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Since our stories first aired, Citizens has changed its policies and apologized. They admit their software may have botched the estimates on some homes, but insist it was not a big scheme to make more money.

But the 10 News Investigators kept digging.

Thursday night, we showed you new cases of over-inflated replacement costs. These cases came from folks who have private insurance -- not Citizens.

In the three examples from Tampa Bay shown in our story Thursday night, insurance companies over-valued the replacement costs by an average of almost $100,000 dollars per home.

And insurance companies are charging these folks to insure that extra, unnecessary $100,000.

FAIR, which partnering with Beausoleil Law Group in its suits against Citizens, says these methods need to end and insurance customers around the state should get paid back for what they were over charged.

For more information on the class-action lawsuits against Citizens Property Insurance and other companies, go to the Florida Association for Insurance Reform website and click "Click Here for Details" near the center of the screen.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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