Florida’s Citizens Backs Bill Calling for More Oversight

By Michael Adams | January 23, 2013

Florida’s state policyholder-backed property insurer says it welcomes a newly proposed legislative initiative that would create an independent inspector general to oversee the insurer’s handling of employee complaints and use of funds.

Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D-Palm Beach) has filed SB 386 in anticipation of the state legislative session, which is set to convene on March 5. The bill would add Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and its board of governors to the list of state agencies that are required to have an inspector general.

The proposed legislation comes just days after the state’s Chief Inspector General released a report criticizing the insurer for its spending on travel and related expenses. It reported that the insurer spent $1.3 million on airplane tickets, lodging and other costs during an eight month period between January 2012 and August 2012.

Citizens President Barry Gilway said in a statement that the insurer welcomes the legislation and hopes it is a step forward in regaining the confidence of lawmakers, regulators, and the public.

“We hope this extra layer of accountability will help restore the public trust and confidence in Citizens commitment to the highest levels of financial responsibility and corporate integrity,” said Gilway.

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