State-backed insurer backs off plan for new office

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - In the wake of criticism by key lawmakers, the state-backed property and casualty insurer, Citizens, is backing off plans to seek a new, larger office complex that once included a gymnasium, cafeteria and concierge service.

Two Republican state senators, Don Gaetz of Niceville and J.D.
Alexander of Winter Haven, objected to Citizens seeking 100,000
square feet of more expensive office space at a time small businesses and families were smarting from high insurance rates.

Both lawmakers sit on the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

Gaetz said Wednesday any extra dollars that might be available to the government-backed insurer should instead lower surcharges and lower premiums for its policyholders.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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