Ex-Florida Citizens CEO to Head Homeowners Choice

NU Online News Service, March 13, 11:55 p.m. EDT

Two months after resigning as the president and chief executive officer of Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Scott R. Wallace has agreed to join Homeowners Choice Inc.

Homeowners Choice says Wallace was named president of its property and casualty division, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty.

Wallace will start at Homeowners Choice soon after his time at Citizens. He has agreed to stay there until April 6.

“Scott has extensive and wide-ranging experience in the insurance industry, including management of Florida’s largest homeowners’ insurance carrier,” says Paresh Patel, chief executive of Homeowners Choice, in a statement.

Though it was established to be Florida’s last-resort insurer, Citizens has grown to become the state’s leading writer of property insurance, with about 1.5 million policies.

Wallace led Citizens for six years and resigned for personal reasons. At the time of his resignation, a spokeswoman said his departure was not due to controversy, or a hidden politically-related reason.

Earlier this month Citizens tapped Tom Grady, former Florida Representative and commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, to be its interim president.

Wallace’s new position with Tampa-based Homeowners Choice is an interesting one because the insurer was started in 2006 as a domestic “take-out” company.

That is, Homeowners Choice’s book of business was created by taking out, or depopulating, bundles of policies from Citizens as part of a state program meant to reduce the state-run insurer’s exposure. Homeowners Choice now has about 125,000 policyholders (about a 2.8% Florida market share) with about $235 million in annualized premiums, and is now traded on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Late last year Homeowners Choice made a move that could double its size purchasing troubled insurer HomeWise Insurance Co., which was ordered into receivership.

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