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Florida property insurer to trim rates

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TALLAHASSEE - Homeowners with coverage through Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. will see their premiums go down a bit this year.

On Thursday, the insurer announced a 2 percent average reduction in property insurance rates for homeowners.

The Boca Raton-based insurer said the reduction takes effect July 15 for new customers and August 1 for those renewing coverage.

Florida lawmakers during the past two years made a series of changes to try and bolster the property insurance market as carriers dropped customers and increased rates because of financial problems. The problems also caused the state's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to balloon to become the largest insurer in Florida.

Lawmakers and insurance industry officials say the changes, such as steps to reduce costly litigation, are helping the market rebound.

"This (the planned rate reduction) should come as great relief to many Florida homeowners who have been suffering through this insurance crisis," Clint Strauch, president of Florida Peninsula Insurance, said in a statement Thursday. "Florida Peninsula Insurance's dedicated analytics team did their advanced calculations and recommended a 2% decrease in premiums. We are happy to be able to offer this reduction to Florida residents. The industry is showing indications of stabilization thanks to the hard work of our state legislators."

Florida Peninsula had 122,332 residential policies as of Dec. 31, according to a report posted on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website. Windward Risk Managers, a management company behind Florida Peninsula, also announced last week that a new insurer, Ovation Home Insurance Exchange, will start writing policies in June.

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