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Statement from Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher regarding Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

1/5/2005

CONTACT:
Tami Torres (850) 413-2842 
Bob Lotane  (850) 413-2842
 
Tallahassee - Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today addressed the task force he created to improve the performance of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.  Gallagher released the following statement after the meeting:
 
"I appointed this task force to accomplish two goals.  One goal was to improve Citizens customer service performance which we found was sorely lacking during the recent string of hurricanes.  Secondly, I wanted them to explore ways to give Floridians more insurance choices so that Citizens is truly the last place people go to find coverage instead of being the only place. 
 
The next hurricane season begins in less than six months.  Therefore I am setting goals I want to see Citizens achieve in that timeframe.  I want them to increase their accountability to policyholders, which would include tracking claims from start to finish.  Rather than contracting out the adjusting and processing of claims I want Citizens to create a base infrastructure that is both reliable and affordable.  I want claims to be better handled by Citizens and this would include regionalizing their claims offices throughout Florida.  And finally I want to create a better relationship between Citizens and their local agents. 
 
I understand Citizens has made some progress in response to my recent order that they address these issues.  But, like it or not, they have become one of the top five insurance companies in this state and I believe they need to operate like one."