Protecting Homeowner's From Hurricane Damage

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Every year Citizens Property Insurance gambles. The board weights its risk, and places its bet on how bad the hurricane season could be.

This year, the board voted to buy 400 million dollars in reinsurance and issue 900 million dollars in bonds in order to have cash on hand to pay claims.

Christine Ashburn, Citizens Director of External Affairs says, "The catch 22 is if we buy reinsurance and there is no storm that money that we've spent on that reinsurance is not recouped."

She goes on to say the 1.3 billion dollar purchase will allow citizens to pay more than seven billion dollars in claims.

"Citizens paid out in all eight storms in 04, 05, about 5.5 billion dollars so this would put us in a much better position."

But critics of Citizens aren't satisfied. They say if one major storm hit a large Florida city, Citizens would be on the hook for more than 15 billion dollars.

Sam Miller of the Florida Insurance Council said, "I mean if there is a one-hundred year storm this year, no that's not going to be enough."

Lawmakers could have passed Citizens reform legislation when they were here last week, but they went home with no reform.

Now opponents are working behind the scenes to get Governor Rick Scott to call lawmakers back for another shot at Citizens.

But there are still concerns over how lawmakers would vote, and calling the legislature back to Tallahassee without a deal would be viewed as a waste of money.


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