Gov. Rick Scott has denied a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that his administration aims to kill Citizens Property Insurance during his first term. Scott claims he's merely sticking to his campaign promise to reduce the state-run home insurer and return it to its original intent as the insurer of last resort.
The report of Scott's desire to kill Citizens caught several politicians in his own Republican Party, as well as representatives from the private insurance industry, completely off-guard.
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Citizens was established in 2002 under Gov. Jeb Bush as a public insurance company covering homeowners who couldn't find decent insurance in the private market. The bill was written by insurance company lobbyists, and many of Citizens' policies cover only hurricane and wind damage.
"Citizens has got to become the insurance of last resort, not the insurance of first resort," Scott said yesterday in response to the report. "We've got to look at everything we can to create an environment where people want to come into our state to sell insurance. And we've got to think about the regulations that we have that cause our insurance to cost too much money."
Citizens has since become the largest home insurer in the state, and many costumers continue to see their premiums rise.