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Who’s worse: State Farm or Citizens?

Unlike House Speaker Marco Rubio, who thinks state-run Citizens Property Insurance is the “worst insurance company in the state of Florida” and shouldn’t be expanded to cover other types of insurance, Gov. Charlie Crist says State Farm is worse and cited the case of Guinevive Kilgore, an 83 year old, African-American woman from Pensacola who was mentioned in his inaugural address.

“It’s like any business endeavor. You get good people there,” Crist said of the idea to expand Citizens.

But the House says Citizens needs a business plan before expanding. Responded Crist, thumping the podium and raising his voice before walking off:

“Yeah, well, I’ve got one. And it is to have the people work hard that go there – to put a new board in place and make it responsible.

"It's just like we’ve brought in great people in this administration. It’s not complicated. It is not complex. It is straightforward and simple, and it’s an American idea. It’s what we need to be doing.

"And Guinevive doesn’t think they’re the worst company. I think she thinks State Farm is the worst company.”

Crist also today spent part of his lunch hour cold calling residents--a widow from St. Augustine, a retired couple from Port Charlotte, and a couple from Dunedin--who had written or e-mailed the governor to talk to him about insurance. In between sips of a Coke Classic (he's trying to curtail his use of Red Bull), Crist was able to talk to Stan Whitney, while leaving messages urging the others to call him back. Whitney, who is 78 and retired seven years ago from Vermont, decided last year to drop his insurance because the premiums were too high. Since Whitney does not have a mortgage, he made the decision to go bare, which means he also has no coverage for liability, fire or theft.

"I was very surprised and pleased to receive his phone call,'' said Whitney. "I'm thankful I wrote that letter. Someone you think your voice won't be heard....I had about given up hope. Now maybe there's a chance."

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