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Incoming Speaker of the Florida House Asks for Review Of Citizens' Loan Plan

Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, placed a major road block on the plans of Florida's state-run homeowners insurance company, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, to lend $350 million out of its $6.2 billion surplus to private insurers in exchange for them underwriting for a minimum of 10 years policies currently with Citizens. 

According to miamiherald.com, Rep. Weatherford wrote a letter to the Citizens' Chairman of the Board, Carlos Lacasa, asking him to delay the implementation of the proposed "surplus loan" plan until both legislative chambers have had an opportunity to hold hearing on the matter.

The plan was hastily unveiled and approved last month by Citizen's board, despite strong opposition from some Florida lawmakers, including Sen. Mike Fasano, a Republican for New Port Richey that has always been critical of the company and Representative Frank Artiles, a Republican for Miami, who has even threatened to file a lawsuit to stop the company from implementing the program, calling it an "inside deal" written by insurance lobbyists.

What is the Plan?

The so called "surplus plan" was created to help Citizens shed some of its 1.4 million policies. The government, headed by Governor Rick Scott, claim to be concerned by the company's financial exposure should the state get hit by a catastrophic hurricane season. Paradoxically, the plan was made possible by the benevolent storm free weather of the last few years and the continued premium increases which allowed the company to stack up an unprecedented $6.2 billion financial surplus. Yet, experts predict, such surplus would not be enough to cover the losses that a catastrophic hurricane season could potentially cause, leaving the taxpayers to pick the bill for the unpaid losses.

As stated before, the plan entails using up to $350 million (out of the previously mentioned $6.2 billion) to issue 20 year loans to beneficiaries that would only pay interests during the first three years of the loan. Also, the loans would be forgivable if hurricanes do hit the state, which means that Citizens would lose this taxpayer money if these insurers go bankrupt after a major hurricane.

We Can Help

You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike.

Moreover, please note that if your home has already sustained damages, our team of loss consultants, paralegals, and attorneys will assist you in every aspect of your claim. Our loss consultant will even go to your home to evaluate the damage you sustained at no cost or obligation to you. Contact us today for a free inspection by our loss consultant.

With more than 75 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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