Governor Scott considers closing state-backed Citizens Insurance

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott is looking at the possibility of closing the state-backed property insurance company.

With more than 1.3 million policyholders, Citizens is Florida's largest property insurer for businesses and home owners.

Lawmakers now permit Citizens double-digit rate increases to shore up the company's financial solvency and eliminate some competitive disadvantages for commercial companies doing business in Florida.

The governor's office did not immediately return a phone message for comment Monday about any plans on structuring a timeline to abolish the state-backed insurer. The Office of Insurance Regulation said it would not comment on Citizens' status.

A Tallahassee-based think tank, the James Madison Institute, called on lawmakers in February to reduce Citizen's overall stake by 60 percent over the next four years to help stabilize the state's property insurance system.

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