Citizens Suggest More Should Be Done About Florida's Largest Insurer

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation had the third-highest number of hurricane claims behind State Farm and Allstate. It also had the worst record of customer complaints.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher gave the state-run insurer an end-of-the-year deadline to get with the program.

"I certainly recognize the challenges that Citizens is dealing with," he says.

The good news, he was told at the meeting Citizens opened a new Ops Center with 400 employees to speed up processing. It has now closed 81 percent of its claims.

But with damaged homes still boarded up or completely gone and property owners still waiting for checks, Citizens obviously still has problems.

Gallagher wants Citizens to start tracking all its own claims, open regional claims offices and consider better pay.

"The answer is we don’t want it to happen again. We want the problems that exist today to be fixed."

Spokesman Justin Glover says Citizens knows it’s got more work to do.

"It sounds like he’s still not satisfied that Citizens is where it needs to be,” he says.

Justin adds, "Yes, Citizens was able to make some changes mid-stream and adjust some of the customer service issues, but we need to be better prepared next year to prevent some of those issues from occurring."

There’s no time to waste. Hurricane season 2005 hits in less than six months.


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