he Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims
Handling and Resolution, which was created by House Bill 1A, Section
38, during the 2007 Legislative Special Session A, issued its third
and final report on June 11, 2008. However, the Task Force will
release a supplemental report, sometime before its statutory
authority expires this November, after working with Citizens
Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) to understand why so many
consumers asked to have their claim for damages from the 2004-2005
hurricanes re-opened in 2007. The Task Force will also examine the
results of these requests.
This new study is in direct response to questions raised by
the Governor and the Chief Financial Officer regarding the need for the
Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to issue bonds to raise $625 million to
pay claims from the 2004-2005 hurricanes that were just filed or re-opened
in 2007. Citizens is not the only insurer that received and paid these
new and re-opened claims that were filed. Most insurers who wrote coverage
in the areas hit by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 have also been impacted by the
Since May 21, 2007, the Task Force has reviewed and
monitored Citizens closure of its 2004/2005 hurricane claims; the
implementation of procedures to handle future catastrophic events (CAT
claims); the implementation of programs relating to the training of
insurance agents, consumer services, administration of policies, and claims
operations; and the establishment of its Office of the Internal Auditor.
The Task Force reported that it is confident that Citizens’ policyholders
will not experience the same type of delays in the claims handling process
as those affected by the 2004/2005 hurricane seasons as long as the policies
and procedures presented to the Task Force are implemented, tested and
adjusted to meet intended goals. The Task Force is relying on the
statutorily required operational audits of the Office of the Auditor General
and the Office of Insurance Regulation to ensure that the policies and
procedures are being followed in order to ensure that Florida’s consumers
are adequately protected.
In addition, the Task Force proposed legislation regarding Public Adjusters,
which was adopted by the Legislature during the 2008 Legislative Session.
Upon becoming law, Senate Bill 2012 will ensure that Public Adjusters are
properly trained and that Florida consumers are protected from unfair
solicitation practices and excessive fees.
For additional information about the Task Force, please visit the website at