Class action lawsuit filed against Citizens Property Insurance

Lawsuit alleges insurance company unfairly increased premiums

Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:49:59 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:58:10 AM EST
PLANTATION, Fla. -

A law firm announced a class action lawsuit it filed against Citizens Property Insurance.

Several members of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR) announced the lawsuit outside the Broward County Courthouse in Plantation Thursday.

"Citizens mitigated a fraud policy, but we believe the real reason was to unfairly increase premiums," said Karen Polivka with FAIR.

More than 1.3 million policies make up Citizens Property Insurance. The lawsuit claims 266,000 homeowners are being overcharged.

Patricia Asseff, a Hollywood city commissioner, said her windstorm premium rose from $4,500 to $13,000 this year. She's named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

"Some people now pay more to Citizens than they do to their mortgage companies," said attorney Todd Stabinkski.

In August, Citizens announced it would provide a follow-up inspection, free of charge, to customers who disagree with the re-inspection findings.

"They started going after the homes with the highest amount of mitigation credit and I think that avenges their true intention here: to increase their coffers and their profits at the expense of consumers and that is simply wrong," said attorney Gary Farmer.

Click here to learn how to get involved in the lawsuit.