Citizens approves incentives for private insurers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The governing board of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has approved a proposal to provide more than $300 million in incentive money for private insurers to relieve them of thousands of policies.

The largest property insurer by far in Florida with more than 1.4 million customers, Citizens is hoping to soon shed tens of thousands more policies.

On Thursday, the state's insurance regulator approved four private companies in removing 150,000 policies although policyholders are given 30 days to decide whether to accept a new carrier or remain with Citizens.

The insurer also agreed to review its internal policies on expenses and corporate credit cards after several newspaper stories criticized some of the company's executives for a few lavish expenditures on hotel rooms, meals and even a bottle of wine.

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