Citizens Inspector General…Follow the Money!

As I said in last week’s post about making sure any “watchdog” of Citizens is a “real Tiger”, Governor Scott was correct recommending an inspector general for Citizens management and internal affairs. Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, was also on the mark requesting that an “independent Inspector General” report directly to the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which is composed of Cabinet members and the Governor.

In his letter to Governor Scott, CFO Atwater acknowledged the segment of the market Citizens occupies including “…policy and claims administration to bond financing…” and he succinctly sums up what’s at stake if Citizens isn’t aptly overseen…

“Citizens stakeholders have a right to know that the resources of the Corporation are being deployed appropriately, and that the management team conducts itself in a responsible manner.  This can best be achieved by our direct oversight of an independent Inspector General.”

It is for all these reasons that Citizens inspector general, the “watchdog”, also be charged to keep an eye on external threats; the ones that may be costing “stakeholders” hundreds of millions more than bar dancing and hotel room upgrades.

The R Street Institute, formerly The Heartland Institute, referenced my last blog exposing the level of litigation from “some” attorney’s against our state insurer.  R Street’s piece titled “Follow the Money for opponents of Citizens reform” provides links (via my blog), to public information that begs for more scrutiny–the kind that only the Governor, CFO Atwater and the entire cabinet can provide.

The media should be hungry for this information but, the data is too raw and requires interpretation beyond their means.  An Inspector General, on the other hand, could separate wheat from chaff and the FSC would give wings to the results.

Again, take a look at R Streets release, follow the links to my blog and look at the public data. Ask yourself how much of Citizens surplus is being depleted?  Are private insurers swarmed in this way?   And, what about Public Adjuster involvement?  In an upcoming post I’ll give some of the data showing how much they may be costing Floridians via Citizens, as well.

But…whether it’s driven by law firms, public adjusters or employee’s, Citizens costs matter and what drives them needs to be fully explored by an Inspector General and reported directly to the Governor, the CFO and the Cabinet.

After all, as CFO Atwater said in his letter to Governor Scott “…Citizens Stakeholders have a right to know…”.

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