Fla. CEO Gives Citizens Task Force Performance-Improving Goals

January 5, 2005

With the next hurricane season due to begin in six months, Tom Gallagher, Florida Chief Financial Officer met with the Citizens Property Insurance task force today in Tallahassee and outlined performance-improving goals.

“I appointed this task force to accomplish two goals,” Gallagher explained. “One was to improve Citizens customer service performance, which we found was sorely lacking during the recent string of hurricanes.

“Second, I wanted task force members 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,” Gallagher said. “I want Citizens to increase its accountability to policyholders, which would include tracking claims from start to finish.”

Rather than contracting out the adjusting and processing of claims Gallagher wants 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,” Gallagher suggested. “And finally I want to create a better relationship between Citizens and local agents.

“I understand Citizens has made 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.”

Task force members include: Pete Dunbar, chairman, Florida Department of Financial Services; Daniel Baptista, Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies; Skip Boylan, Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors; Steve Burgess, Insurance Consumer Advocate; Karen Chandler, Florida Department of Financial Services; Carol Everhart, Professional Insurance Agents of Florida; John Fleming, Florida Association of Insurance Agents; Scott Johnson, Florida Association of Insurance Agents; Frank Kowalski, Florida Realtors Association; Ed London, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Susanne Murphy, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation; Ken Ritzenthaler, Florida Office of Insurance Regulation; and Hal Roberts, Florida Bankers Association.

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