NU Online News Service, March 7, 8:10 a.m. EST
Tom Grady, commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, has been tapped to be president of the state’s last-resort insurer.
The Board of Governors at Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp. says it unanimously voted to appoint Grady, former vice chairman of the Florida House Insurance, Business and Financial Affairs Committee, its interim president to replace Scott Wallace.
Wallace announced his resignation for personal reasons at the start of the year after six years at the helm of what has become the state’s largest writer of property insurance.
A spokeswoman at the time said Wallace’s resignation was not due to controversy, or a hidden politically-related reason.
Wallace will remain at Citizens until April 6. Grady starts March 12.
“It is important that we maintain continuity of the board’s business plan as we embark on a national search for a permanent replacement for Mr. Wallace,” says a statement from Carlos A. Lacasa, Citizens’ chairman. “Mr. Grady has graciously agreed to step-in on short notice and lead the administration on an interim basis while we implement initiatives aimed at reducing the size and exposure of Citizens.”
Citizens has been one of the insurance-related focuses of the state legislative session. Gov. Rick Scott has expressed a desire to see the state-run insurer shrink in size—especially since nearly every policyholder in the state at risk to be taxed should a large storm strike the Sunshine State. Citizens has the ability to levy assessments in order to pay claims.
Bills meant to reduce the exposure of Citizens are being mulled by lawmakers now as legislation from the recent past, also intended to reduce Citizens’ exposure, are implemented.
“I am honored to be asked by Chairman Lacasa and the entire board to sustain and build on their momentum, while operating a first-class insurance company for our policyholders,” Grady says in a statement.
“Since every Floridian is exposed to higher taxes when the next big hurricane or series of storms hits, this is a critical time in Citizens’ history,” Grady adds. “I look forward to this challenge to serve all Floridians and earn their trust.”