Opinion: Reform of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is welcome

Nov 23, 2011

The following article was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on November 23, 2011:

Reform of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is welcome

By Manley Fuller

Based on a request from Gov. Rick Scott, management from Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is expected to submit a proposal to the Florida Cabinet with a plan to reduce Citizens’ size and risk.

We look forward to hearing the suggestions presented by Citizens, because for years, we have supported reform of both Citizens and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and are pleased to finally have a governor in office who also supports changes that better protect all Floridians.

Recently released information demonstrates how critical it is that these state-run entities be reformed. From Citizens Chief Financial Officer Sharon Binnun sharing with a Senate committee that Citizens grows by 1,000 policies per day — a rate that is unsustainable and puts all Floridians who buy insurance at financial risk — to Cat Fund Chief Operating Officer Jack Nicholson announcing Florida faces a potential $3.2 billion bonding shortfall, all Floridians continue to be faced with imminent financial disaster.

Returning Citizens to its original role as insurer of last resort, scaling back the size of the Cat Fund, and establishing a rate structure that more honestly reflects the price of development decisions that put homeowners in jeopardy and render useless natural storm buffers — including barrier islands and coastal wetlands that diminish storm energy and floods — should be a priority of all our elected leaders this session.

Manley Fuller is president of the Florida Wildlife Federation.