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Proposed Citizens rate hikes could hurt housing market | News

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Proposed Citizens rate hikes could hurt housing market
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Spring Hill, FL -- A proposal that would raise sinkhole premiums for Citizens Insurance policyholders by an average of 429 percent could hurt the housing market, according to several real estate experts 10 News spoke with on Tuesday.

"It's going to create problems on the re-sale side," said Peter Murphy, a local real estate consultant and president of Home Encounter. "When a person goes to resell a home and you've got a massive insurance requirement on that property, it's definitely going to decrease the appeal of that home to would-be buyers."

Meanwhile, many Citizens policyholders in the Spring Hill area reacted with frustration over the possible rate hikes. Stan Pungratz says he'll likely have to drop his sinkhole coverage if he's charged an additional $2,300 a year.

"Like you say, go with Mother Nature and deal with what happens, because in today's market it's very difficult," he said.

Carol Rifenburgh, who is insured through Citizens but does not have sinkhole coverage, added that won't even be an option if the rates do go up.

"As I said, being senior citizens, we live on a fixed income and that would be too much," she said.

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