Scott Wallace quits as chief of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Jan 9, 2012

The following article was published in The Florida Current on January 9, 2012:

Wallace quits as chief of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Scott R. Wallace has resigned as president and CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. after running the state-backed property insurance provider for six years, the carrier announced Monday. He plans to remain at Citizens through April 6 to ensure a smooth transition, according to a news release from  Citizens, the state’s largest property insurer.

Wallace gave his voluntary resignation on Friday via a letter to Citizen’s Chairman Carlos A. Lacasa, the release states.

Lacasa accepted Wallace’s resignation with regret, according to the release, saying, “Scott has led the company through a complex rampup of the infrastructure needed for Citizens to provide the services and possess the claims payment ability that is so essential to our state’s housing industry.”

“His talents will be sorely missed,” Lacasa said.

Lacasa credited Wallace for continuous improvements in Citizens’ service levels, risk transference initiatives, and professionalism towards its policyholders, agents, legislative leaders and stakeholders. Citizens’ surplus has grown to more than $5.5 billion and with total claims paying capacity  at nearly $17 billion, the release states.

In his six years running the state-backed insurer, Wallace has seen the carrier evolve from Florida’s insurer of last resort into the state’s largest policyholder  for home and business owners with about 1.5 million policyholders. It has grown rapidly in recent years despite legislative efforts to reduce its size and liabilities. Citizens was created by the Legislature in 2002 to provide insurance to homeowners in high-risk areas and those unable to find coverage in the private market.

Wallace, who previously served as a vice president at Citizens, was the second CEO of the insurer. He replaced Bob Ricker on an interim basis in November of 2006 and was named to the job permanently on Jan. 10, 2007 at a salary of $220,000.

The company’s operations have come under increased scrutiny in recent months with Lacasa becoming the board chair and Gov. Rick Scott pushing for the company to be downsized if not sold outright to a private entity.

The not-for-profit public corporation has come in for criticism for paying many of its executives lucrative salaries, including Wallace whose salary jumped dramatically just two years after becoming the company’s fulltime president. He was paid a base wage of $343,608 in 2009.

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