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Judge Upholds Gallagher’s Plan to Smoothly Transition Poe Policyholders

6/15/2006

CONTACT:
Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE– Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, said today that a judge reaffirmed her approval of the Department of Financial Services' plan to protect and to smoothly transition nearly 330,000 policyholders with Atlantic Preferred, Southern Family and Florida Preferred insurance companies to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation on July 1.  The three insurers are subsidiaries of the Tampa-based Poe Financial Group.
"We remain focused on protecting policyholders and ensuring they have continuous coverage this hurricane season," Gallagher said.  "Tropical Storm Alberto was an important reminder of the need to protect our homes and our families, and our transition plan was developed with this in mind."
 
At a hearing today in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge Janet Ferris heard a recent emergency motion filed by Poe officials regarding the three insurers they formerly managed.  Filed last week, Poe's motion alleged the department's transition plan should have required Citizens to use Poe's affiliates – Poe & Associates, Poe Managers, and Mariah – and pay fees to service policies being assumed by Citizens.
 
In response, the department refuted Poe's assertion because Poe's affiliates had long provided the employees, facilities and equipment necessary to operate the three insurance companies the judge had ordered into liquidation. The department's response is attached. 
 
On May 30, Judge Ferris signed orders directing the department to take control of the three insurance companies' operations and to liquidate the companies' assets to pay outstanding claims.  On June 1, the judge approved a transition plan to help homeowners who were covered by one of the three Poe companies to automatically transition to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation on July 1. 
 
 For more information, policyholders can contact the Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-2762 or log onto www.fldfs.com.