carlos_lacasa.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Former state Rep. Carlos Lacasa of Miami is the pick to become the next chairman of the board that oversees the operations of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp.


The 47-year-old Lacasa is replacing Naples businessman Jim Malone, who held the position since 2008. Lacasa's appointment was announced Wednesday by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

Citizens is Florida's largest property insurer for home and business owners, with more than 1.4 million policies in force. It is growing rapidly despite legislative efforts in recent years to reduce its exposure. The company was created by the Legislature in 2002 to provide insurance to homeowners in high-risk areas and those unable to find coverage in the private market.

Florida citizens become liable to make up losses if Citizens were to become insolvent.