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CFO Sink Announces Formation of Citizens Task Force on Claims Handling and Resolution

5/16/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842 
 
TALLAHASSEE – In an ongoing effort to improve Citizens’ policyholder and applicant services, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today appointees to the legislatively-created Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 21, 2007, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Citizens Claims Center in Jacksonville.
 
“I am pleased to announce that the task force will meet next week to begin reviewing Citizens’ claims and resolution handling,” said CFO Sink.  “It is essential that we operate Citizens like a business and improve customer service for Citizens policyholders.”
 
The Citizens task force was created by House Bill 1A during the 2007 special session of the Florida Legislature.  The task force is composed of four full members, with one appointment each by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. In addition there are three ex-officio voting members: the Insurance Commissioner, Insurance Consumer Advocate and Executive Director of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation or their designees.
 
Specifically, the committee is directed to develop recommendations for Citizens to complete claims remaining from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.  This committee report is due to the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, President of the Senate and Speaker of the House by July 1, 2007.  The task force is additionally charged with evaluating Citizens’ procedures on claims handling, claims resolution and customer service, with a final report and recommendations due July 1, 2008.
 
Appointees to the Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution include:
• Michael B. Twomey, Sr., Attorney (Tallahassee) -- Governor Charlie Crist
• Mike Lancashire, CPCU, AIC, Vice President of Claims at The Main Street America Group (Jacksonville) -- Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink
• Senator Mike Fasano – District 11 (New Port Richey) -- Senate President Ken Pruitt
• Representative Julio Robaina – District 117 (Miami) -- House Speaker Marco Rubio
• General Bob Milligan, Insurance Consumer Advocate (Tallahassee) -- Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
• Heather Carruthers, Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe County (FIRM) (Key West) -- Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty
• Tim Loftin, CPCU, AIC, Senior Vice President of Claims at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Jacksonville) -- Citizens Executive Director Scott Wallace
 
CFO Sink has also created a website dedicated to the task force, its duties, appointments, and upcoming meetings.  Floridians who would like to learn more about the task force are encouraged to visit the website at http://www.taskforceoncitizensclaimshandling.org.
 
The first meeting scheduled for the Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution will be as follows:
 
DATE:   Monday, May 21, 2007  
TIME:   9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
LOCATION: Citizens Claims Center
8301 Cypress Plaza Drive, Suite 108
Jacksonville, FL 32256
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.