Citizens Property Insurance closes internal affairs office
Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance has been popping up regularly in insurance news over the past several months, but not for anything necessarily good. The state-run insurance group has been feeling the burden of its own financial crisis and pressure from state lawmakers to solve its own problems as quickly as possible. Recently, the insurer’s solution to its financial problems have involve depopulation; moving policies to private insurance companies that are willing to serve high risk areas of the state. Citizens Property Insurance has made headlines once again for a controversial decision to close its internal affairs office.
Office closure sparks controversy
This office was once responsible for handling cases regarding internal corruption of Citizens Property Insurance, as well as sexual harassment issues and the misuse of funds. The decision to close the office has caused concern amongst consumers and advocacy groups who believe that Citizens Property Insurance has something to hide. Sean Shaw, a former Insurance Consumer Advocate, and Dan Krassner, executive director of Integrity Florida, claim that the office was dismantled amidst allegations that the state-run insurer was spending lavish amounts of corporate money, most of which comes from taxes on Florida consumers.
Citizens hires accountants to manage internal affairs issues
Citizens Property Insurance claims that the office was closed due to matters of efficiency. The insurer has hired four forensic accountants that will handle the issues that would have been investigated by the office. These accountants are to be highly trained in matters of fraud. Despite this, consumer advocates are still wary of the insurer’s dubious practices and these concerns are beginning to extend to state lawmakers that have been keeping an eye on the insurer.
Lawmakers to confront insurer in 2013
Senator Mike Fasano claims that the changes Citizens Property Insurance is making are disturbing. The state’s Legislature is currently on recess. Lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene for a new legislative season in the spring of 2013. Senator Fasano suggests that Citizens Property Insurance will have to be prepared to answer some hard questions from lawmakers at that time.