Hurricane catastrophe fund has surplus this year

Florida’s hurricane catastrophe fund is reportedly ready to pay for storm damage this hurricane season. Since the state hasn’t seen major hurricane damage in over 10 years, the hurricane catastrophe fund has grown to $17 billion. In response to the surplus, Florida stopped charging a hurricane tax on business policies, cars and homes as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Despite the large hurricane catastrophe fund, Florida homeowners are not seeing a decrease in their insurance premiums. In fact, statistics show that insurance premiums are still rising for most homeowners. A spokesperson for Citizens Insurance said that homeowners are not likely to see their insurance premiums go down.

One homeowner in St. Petersburg said that he thinks it is unfair that insurance premiums have remained high since they increased after a particularly bad hurricane season 10 years ago. Another homeowner said that the increase in insurance premiums a decade ago forced him to purchase a smaller home so that he could afford to make repairs himself if a hurricane should strike. A realtor who has been lobbying for lower insurance premiums said that insurance premiums are much slower to come down than they are to go up.

When insurance premiums are high, homeowners may be especially interested in making sure that their insurance claims are successful. However, insurance carriers often underpay storm claims by looking for reasons not to compensate homeowners for all of the damage that has been done by wind, water, hail and lightning. Homeowners may have a greater chance of success with a storm damage claim if they have representation from an attorney.

Source: WTSP, “No insurance cuts despite strong hurricane fund,” Eric Glasser, May 14, 2015