|By Charles Elmore, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Opponents likened it to a casino where the losers are ratepayers. Citizens president
"There's a staggering benefit," Gilway said.
Companies would get low-interest, 20-year loans that could be forgiven 20 percent each year a named storm makes landfall in
Potentially, the plan could see companies take out 300,000 customers or more off the Citizens rolls of almost 1.5 million. Skeptics say it's not needed: Existing takeout programs without the loans are already giving nearly 400,000 Citizens customers a chance to move to a new carrier in late 2012 and early 2013
The House insurance and banking subcommittee heard the proposal Tuesday. House Speaker
"We are in the middle of a legislative meeting gathering facts about Citizens' proposed surplus (note) program," Weatherford said Tuesday. "Additionally, Citizens does not have the results of the reports they have commissioned regarding this program. We currently do not have enough information to know whether the proposed program is the answer for Citizens' depopulation efforts."
At Tuesday's meeting, Rep.
Others not on the subcommittee were blasting the plan before it started. Rep.
The Citizens board meets
The move would spend ratepayers' money that could otherwise be put into the company's
Citizens plans to increase by about 20 percent what it spends on private reinsurance to
Also, the reinsurance only covers temporary periods such as one or two years. If it isn't used -- and it hasn't been the last two years -- the money simply goes into the pockets of brokers and reinsurers such as
On Tuesday, Rep.
In 2012 the Citizens surplus grew by close to
"The reason they tried to push this through without legislative approval is because it doesn't pass the smell test," said Rep.
(c)2012 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services