A $52 million deal between state-run Citizens and a start-up insurer that gave to $110,000 to Gov. Rick Scott’s political committee may be causing “serious concerns” for Florida’s House Speaker, but state records show another fledgling carrier from South Florida spent more than $650,000 lobbying state legislators and executives to get more — up to $63 million.
Officials with Weston Insurance Co. of Coral Gables say most of that spending went for legal work setting up the company and not actual lobbying, regardless of how it may have been reported to the state. About 31,000 customers, including 1,334 in Palm Beach County, have to decide whether to go with Weston or stay with Citizens, many in coming weeks.
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Palm Beach Post Staff Researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.
Charles Elmore has been reporting for more than a year on questionable plans to spend ratepayer or taxpayer money on plans to shrink state-run insurer Citizens. Four days after a Post investigative report last year, Citizens said it was dropping a plan to spend up to $350 million.