By: Associated Press
May 18, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a hurricane hits is in strong shape ahead of storm season.
Estimates prepared by Raymond James show the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will have $17.6 billion available this year. This marks the second year in a row that the fund has more money than it would need for pay outs if storms were to hit the state.
The estimates were formally approved Thursday by the fund advisory council.
The financial strength of the fund is important because the state can impose a surcharge on most insurance policies to replenish the fund if the money runs out. Some critics have called the surcharge a "hurricane tax".
The fund has continued to grow because Florida has not seen a major hurricane since 2005.