Something just doesn’t smell right about the latest information discovered about Citizens Insurance. In Florida, Citizens Insurance is the insurance of last resort who many Floridians have no choice but to be insured by. But, new information makes their seeming “monopoly” on Florida insurance even more disturbing.
Here are the actual facts:
Costs for salaries, benefits and payroll taxes rose 50 percent, from $57 million in 2007 to about $86 million last year, an estimate based on actual expenses through October. This year, the company plans to spend $95 million in compensation, according to the budget approved by its board last month.
49 Citizens employees were paid more than $100,000 before taxes in 2009, five more than the previous year. Citizens President Scott Wallace was paid $343,608 last year, about 5 percent more than the previous year.
Administrative expenses rose 24 percent over the two years to an estimated $122 million in 2009, up from $119 million and $98 million in the two previous years. This includes salaries, rent, maintenance and subscriptions. This year, the company plans to spend $148 million.
Payroll grew to 1,169 employees in 2009 from 1,000 in 2007.
Meanwhile, the number of policies with Citizens fell from a peak of 1.4 million in October 2007 to just over 1 million now.
All Florida residents with insurance are affected by Citizens’ spending: Homeowners are paying an annual fee of 1.4 percent of premiums until 2017 to cover the company’s shortfalls after the 2005 hurricanes. If a hurricane strikes and causes major damage, all automobile and property insurance policyholders could pay fees to offset Citizens’ shortfalls.
In Florida, insurance is a topic that consumers need to be very aware of. Speak with your local government representatives, write letters – speak out!
Florida insurance has many inequities that affect their citizens every day, from Workers’ Compensation laws that limit injured workers’ benefits, to the obvious problems with the homeowners insurance crisis. If you are affected by inequities of insurance in Florida, call The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. for a free legal consultation at (877) 215-3529. Our Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can help you today!