Update March 15: The manhunt is over. Eight board members met by phone to approve the reinsurance matter and a janitorial contract by an 8-0 vote in a meeting lasting less than 10 minutes.
Original post: Board members of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. including one from Palm Beach County could not be located for a teleconference Friday, forcing postponement of a scheduled meeting to approve a financial transaction.
“I want to express my apologies to all on the call,” board chairman Chris Gardner said more than 20 minutes into a scheduled 1 p.m. meeting. “This didn’t work and I’m sure there’s a good reason.”
There was no date set for a rescheduled meeting, though apparently it was not for later in the day Friday. Gardner closed by saying, “Have a good weekend.”
The eight-member board did not have enough participating members to take action. Board member Juan Cocuy of Palm Beach County could not be located, though his staff was looking for him, officials said. A call to Cocuy’s voice mail at a Wellington office was not immediately returned.
The board’s consumer representative, Bette Brown of Monroe County, was announced as unavailable, for reasons not disclosed. Board member Jim Henderson of Seminole County may have had difficulty establishing or keeping telephone contact, officials said.
The meeting, publicly noticed for at least several days on the company’s website, addressed a requested board action involving $300 million in Everglades Re II catastrophe bonds. Citizens policyholders pay for the bonds, which have less than a 1.5 percent chance of being needed in a given year but provide money to help pay claims in the event of rare and severe storms. The state’s insurance consumer advocate and others have questioned whether Citizens bought too much offshore reinsurance, some of it in multi-year contracts, needlessly costing its customers money even as the company’s risk exposure was dramatically falling along with its number of policies.
The board was being asked approve calling the bonds to give “full flexibility to optimize the structure of its 2017 risk transfer program without any existing risk transfer carryover and will be able to take full advantage of current market conditions,” according to documents posted for the meeting.