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Press Release

Office Of Insurance Regulation Completes Citizens' Exam
Friday, November 4, 2005
Contact: Beth Scott
Tallahassee –The Office of Insurance Regulation has completed a market conduct exam looking at Citizens Insurance Company's handling of the high volume of hurricane claim payments during the hurricane season of 2004 and a data validation review was performed to verify the accuracy of the company's filed hurricane reports with the Office.
The completed exam is part of the Office's limited-scope review of claims reporting by companies after the high volume of claims from the 2004 hurricanes. The investigation was initiated along with investigations of several other companies by complaints made to the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Financial Services.
The report discusses several areas examiners identified as weaknesses and the response by Citizens to address those areas. Since the examination, the company has changed its procedures for outsourcing claims to adjusting firms and improved the information available to Citizens staff, enabling them to answer consumer calls. Citizens also added data fields and implemented new mechanisms to ensure data reported to the Office is correct and complete.
The exam also included an operational review to evaluate Citizens' operations according to generally accepted accounting practices and good internal controls in keeping accounts, records, methods and practices relating to insurers.
The examination was not directed to the recent issues regarding alleged ethics breaches.  These are being investigated by other agencies including the Department of Financial Services Fraud Division, and the Auditor General.