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Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution

FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 

ENROLLED

CS/HB 1A, Engrossed 1/c 2007 Legislature

Section 38  Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution.--

(1)   TASK FORCE CREATED--There is created the Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution.

(2) ADMINISTRATION--The task force shall be administratively housed within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer but shall operate independently of any state officer or agency. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer shall provide such administrative support as the task force deems necessary to accomplish its mission and shall provide necessary funding for the task force within its existing resources. The Executive Office of the Governor, the Department of Financial Services, and the Office of Insurance Regulation shall provide substantive staff support for the task force.

(3) MEMBERSHIP--The members of the task force shall be appointed as follows:

(a)   The Governor shall appoint one member who is a representative of insurance consumers.

(b)   The Chief Financial Officer shall appoint one member who has expertise in claims handling.

(c)   The President of the Senate shall appoint one member.

(d)   The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member.

(e)   The Commissioner of Insurance Regulation, or his or her designee, shall serve as an ex officio voting member of the task force.

(f)     The Insurance Consumer Advocate, or his or her designee, shall serve as an ex officio voting member of the task force.

(g)   The Executive Director of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, or his or her designee, shall serve as an ex officio voting member of the task force.  Members of the task force shall serve without compensation but are entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061, Florida Statutes.

(4) PURPOSE AND INTENT--The Legislature recognizes that policyholders and applicants of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation should receive the highest possible level of service and treatment. This level should never be less than the private market. The Legislature further recognizes that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation's service standards should be no less than those applied to insurers in the voluntary market with respect to responsiveness, timeliness, customer courtesy, and overall dealings with policyholders and applicants. The purpose of the task force is to make recommendations to the legislative and executive branches of this state's government relating to the handling, service, and resolution of claims by Citizens  Property Insurance Corporation that are sufficient to ensure that all Citizens' policyholders and applicants in this state are able to obtain appropriate handling, service, and resolution of claims, as further described in this section.

(5) SPECIFIC ISSUES--The task force shall conduct such research and hearings as it deems necessary to achieve the purposes specified in subsection (4) and shall develop information on relevant issues, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a)   How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can improve its customer               service.

(b)   How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can improve its adjuster response time after a hurricane.

(c)   How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can efficiently use its available       adjusting sources for claims.

(d)   How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can improve the time it takes to      conduct damage assessments.

(e)   How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can dispose of and settle claims remaining from the 2004 and hurricane seasons and can improve the time it takes to dispose of and settle claims remaining from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.

(f)     How Citizens Property Insurance Corporation can improve the time it takes to dispose of and settle claims.

(g)   Whether Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has hired an adequate level of permanent claims and adjusting staff in addition to outsourcing its claims- adjusting functions to independent adjusting firms.

(6) REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS--By July 1, 2007, the task force shall provide a report containing recommendations regarding the process Citizens Property Insurance Corporation should use to dispose of the claims remaining open from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. By July 1, 2008, the task force shall provide a report containing findings relating to the issues identified in subsection (5) and recommendations consistent with the purposes of this section and also consistent with such findings. The report shall include recommendations regarding the process Citizens Property Insurance Corporation should use to dispose of claims. The task force shall submit the reports to the Governor, the Chief Financial Officer, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The task force may also submit such interim reports as it deems appropriate.

(7) ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES--The task force shall monitor the implementation of the provisions of chapter 2006-12, Laws of Florida, relating to the creation of the Office of Internal Auditor in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and shall make such additional recommendations as it deems appropriate for further legislative action during the 2006-2008 legislative biennium.

(8) EXPIRATION--The task force shall expire at the end of the 2006-2008 legislative biennium.

TASK FORCE ON CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CLAIMS HANDLING AND RESOLUTION  - Staffed by FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES