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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

You're gonna pay more for '04, '05 hurricanes



Gov. Charlie Crist and CFO Alex Sink voted on Tuesday to allow the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to issue another $625-million in bonds to pay off more claims from three-year-old hurricanes.

The move will cost all consumers with any kind of liability policy, excluding medical malpractice, another 1 percent in assessments for another two more years.

After a long discussion, Crist and Sink (Attorney General Bill McCollum was absent) decided it was necessary to move quickly, as the existing amount of money available to pay claims is dwindling. There's only roughly enough to last between 10 and 20 weeks, said senior catastrophe fund officer Jack Nicholson.

However, both Crist and Sink said they were concerned that insurers weren't policing the claims, especially all the newly reopened claims. They're worried that consumers are being asked to dig deeper into their pockets for fraudulent claims.

CAT fund officials said they're going to do a sample audit to see what percentage of the new claims activity is legitimate.


From Perspective, in Sunday's Times: A group of St. Petersburg business people think they can solve our property insurance crisis: Create a huge pool of money to cover only hurricane winds and let insurance companies compete to insure the routine fires and burglaries. Now if only somebody would listen. Click here to read more.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:22am]


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