- Ricky Polston, an outgoing Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, has been named as Citizens’ new General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer. He will begin his new position on April 3.
- Polston notified Gov. Ron DeSantis of his decision to step down from the state’s highest court on March 20, having originally joined the Supreme Court in 2008 and serving as Chief Justice from 2012 to 2014.
- The announcement is concurrent to the Citizens Board of Governors’ approval of a statewide average rate increase of 14.2 percent for all personal lines policies, with homeowner policy rates expected to rise by an average of 13.9 percent and condo owners seeing an approximate 14.6 percent increase in cost.
Outgoing Florida Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston, who will step down from the court’s bench on Friday, was named on Wednesday as Citizens’ new General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.
Polston, who notified Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 20 of his decision to step down from the state’s highest court, is slated to begin at Citizens on April 3. He originally joined the Supreme Court in 2008 and served as Chief Justice from 2012 to 2014.
“I’m grateful to the board for their confidence and support,” Polston said. “After a fulfilling career in the Florida judiciary, I’m excited to join CEO Tim Cerio and the strong leadership team at Citizens for this new chapter of my professional life. Citizens is critical to bringing stability to Florida’s insurance market and I can’t wait to get started.”
Prior to his work on the Supreme Court, Polston worked as a certified public accountant before attaining his law degree in 1986 from Florida State University. He spent the next 14 years in private practice, specializing in commercial litigation before being appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in 2001. In 2001, he was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal, where he served until October 2008,
“Justice Polston brings an incredible level of integrity, legal acumen, and insurance expertise to Citizens as we address the challenges and opportunities facing our company and the industry as a whole,” said Tim Cerio, Citizens President, CEO, and Executive Director. “He is a tremendous addition to our leadership team and I’m looking forward to working with him as we move forward.”
The announcement comes concurrent to the Citizens Board of Governors’ approval of a statewide average rate increase of 14.2 percent for all personal lines policies.
Homeowner policy rates are expected to increase by an average of 13.9 percent, while condo owners will see an average 14.6 percent rise in cost. If approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation, the 2023 rates would go into effect for new and renewal personal residential policies beginning November 1.
An analysis of homeowner multiperil rates conducted in November 2022 found that Citizens’ statewide average premium was 44 percent below premiums charged by nine private companies representing 24 percent of the market.
Adjustments were made in the 2023 recommendations to account for the anticipated savings from the passage of a special session bill last December, which lowered Citizens’ uncapped rate need by 36.8 percent.