A bill passed Wednesday by the Florida Senate would freeze property insurance rates at December 2006 levels until 2009 for residents insured by state-run Citizens Property Insurance. Under the bill, policyholders could select Citizens if their private coverage is more than 15% higher than Citizens' annual premiums. The Florida House must now vote on the bill. Insurance companies oppose it and say Citizens' rates are not high enough to cover risks from severe storms. "We are headed toward a catastrophe, and it's going to be the governor's property insurance catastrophe," says William Stander, assistant vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
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