A director appointed by Gov. Rick Scott at state-run insurer Citizens has resigned to take a newly-created job at the company as chief risk officer.
John Rollins, appointed to the board of directors by Scott in 2011, resigned from the board Monday and was named to the new position Friday. Rollins previously served as director of analytics at Citizens in 2006 and 2007, a company statement said.
Citizens also said Jennifer Montero, interim chief financial officer since Sharon Binnun left in June for a job with a private insurer, will assume that permanent job.
“Jennifer and John are known quantities with deep knowledge of Citizens operations and the direction we are taking going forward,” Citizens CEO Barry Gilway said. “They will be immediate contributors to our efforts to become a smaller and more efficient insurer.”
The new position for Rollins will oversee “enterprise risk management, actuarial, analytics and product development,” the company said. He takes up those duties Oct. 14.
Citizens officials said the new job comes in response to an ongoing organizational review. Rollins has been president of Rollins Analytics Inc. and vice president for public risk services at AIR Worldwide Corp, a provider of risk modeling and consulting services.
“I cannot imagine anyone more qualified than John Rollins to assume this role,” Gilway said. “I expect he and Jennifer will work together closely on issues such as risk transfer as we continue to seek ways to reduce the risk of assessments on all Florida policyholders.”
A state inspector general’s report this year chided Citizens for weak controls on travel expenses such as Binnun’s hotel expenses of more than $600 per night in Bermuda. Trips there and to Europe were part of efforts to buy private reinsurance, something on which Citizens did not spend any money as recently as three years ago.
Company officials say private reinsurance transfers risk outside the state and reduces the chance Citizens policyholders and others will have to pay assessments if bad storms exhaust reserves.
On the other hand, spending $300 million or more a year of ratepayer’s money on private reinsurance sends money to offshore and Wall Street interests that could otherwise be put into the company’s surplus of more than $6 billion. That surplus money can build year after year to pay claims, unlike private reinsurance premiums that must be paid every year for temporary coverage that is typically needed only for storms with a 3 percent chance or less of occuring.
If the worst storm in modern Florida history, Hurricane Andrew, were to return in 2013, the assessments would be zero for non-Citizens customers and $8 on a $2,000 policy for Citizens policyholders, The Palm Beach Post found.