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'Cane Pain

Jeb Bush says he was proud to sign legislation that will make insurance companies write your homeowner’s policy in plain English.

During last year’s devastating hurricanes, thousands of Floridians found out the hard way that they had no idea what their policies actually covered.

The new law requires companies to provide customers a check list of what’s covered and what isn’t. Insurers must respond to your claim within 14 days, and they can’t cancel your policy until 90 days after your home is repaired.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher applauded the changes.

Tom Gallagher says, "To have your policy non-renewed when in fact your home's still not repaired is a devastation because you cannot get anybody to insure a damaged home, so that’s been taken care of by the Legislature.”

But the industry doesn’t think the law does enough for insurers. Sam Miller with the Florida Insurance Council says some companies wanted the state’s catastrophe fund to cover a larger share of their losses.

Sam Miller says, "Last year, the industry had to pay $4.5 billion for each storm before the cat fund would kick in. As a result of that, out of $23 billion in total losses, the cat fund paid only $3 billion."

But the governor calls the changes a start.

Gov. Jeb Bush says, "The things that were done today I think will stabilize the market. The bill that I signed into law will be helpful, but it's not the end of the game. It's the beginning."

Most of this year’s changes, however, won't take effect until next year.

Since many of the insurance changes won't be in place until after this year’s hurricane season, the insurance industry is urging you to contact your agent and make sure you understand what your policy covers.


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