Citizens Insurance

Published November 23, 2011

As Florida’s economy struggles to recover, there is one issue brewing below the surface that if left unattended may erase any recovery, or worse. I commend Gov. Rick Scott and the Citizens Property Insurance Board for proactively tackling Citizens’ over-exposure to protect the state’s taxpayers [“Fla. largest Insurer Wants Sweeping Changes,” Nov. 14).

Unfortunately, due to policies pursued by Gov. Scott’s predecessor that were rooted more in political calculation instead of common sense, Citizens was expanded well beyond its intended purpose of providing coverage for people genuinely unable to find coverage in the private market. It is now Florida’s largest insurer without the ability to collect enough money to cover the additional risk. If Citizens fell short by millions or billions of dollars after a hurricane, the state’s taxpayers would be forced to bail it out through massive taxes on every policy. This would be catastrophic on the state’s fragile economy.

Gov. Scott and the Citizen’s board proposal to scale back Citizens is a common sense approach to dealing with what is otherwise a ticking time bomb. Another major threat to Florida’s financial future is the over-exposure of the Florida CAT Fund, which the Legislature would do well in scaling back sooner rather than later.

CHRISTIAN R. CAMARA, Director, Florida Insurance Project
The Heartland Institute, Tallahassee