A bad deal from Citizens – St. Petersburg Times

Florida’s state-run insurer absolutely should be rooting out fraud and incompetence that is inflating hurricane-mitigation discounts for homeowners. But Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s board of directors should not award a no-bid $60 million contract to a private vendor who has not tackled a project of this size. The board should reconsider and seek competitive bids.

Citizens’ action, which drew only one dissenting vote from former state Rep. Carlos Lacasa of Miami, is an affront to all Florida insurance policyholders. All policyholders are on the hook whenever the state-backed entity’s coffers run dry, and they already are paying assessments by Citizens for the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes. Plus, Citizens’ plan to reinspect up to 400,000 of the 1 million homes it insures will set an industry precedent. There is no guarantee, without a competitive bidding process, that Citizens has struck the best deal for itself and, by extension, the entire industry.

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