Insurance Surcharges Stack Up on Florida Policyholders

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Many Floridians already facing soaring insurance rates will be hit by additional surcharges that could tack another nine percent to their premiums next year.

The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association approved the latest two percent surcharge last week. It will most likely be added to most Florida property insurance policies in the spring.

The association already approved a two percent levy. Residents also face a four percent increase to offset the state-run Citizens Property Insurance's 2005 losses and an additional one percent for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which is backup coverage for insurers.

The deputy director of the guaranty association says the latest charge is needed to cover losses from the failure of Southern Family, Atlantic Preferred and Florida Preferred. The insurance companies were owned by Tampa-based Poe Financial Group.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)