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Citizens Insurance Dissatisfied With Independent Adjusters After Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew as seen from the International Space Station on Oct. 3

The Citizens Property Insurance Company is regrouping after two hurricanes hit the state.  The state-backed insurer is disappointed with the response of independent contractors handling claims adjustment.

Up until this summer, Citizens Insurance handled most claims with its regular staff, but it also holds contracts with independent claims adjusters in the event of a catastrophic storm.  Hurricane Matthew offered a test of that model, and claims chief Jay Adams explains contractors fell short of their commitments in the wake of the storm.

“They were not able to perform within guidelines for the catastrophe response,” Adams says, “they were unable to meet the catastrophe deployment resource requests based on their previous commitments and they were awarded contracts based on those commitments.”

Adams says those independent adjusters have been penalized and deactivated, but he warns the existing model could have trouble meeting the needs of a hundred year storm.  His office is currently working on changes to how it writes contracts.  Company officials say the overall storm response was good, but note Matthew could’ve been far worse. 

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.