Insurance debate continues by Mitch E. Perry

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One of the main proposals that has come out of the State Senate dealing with Florida’s Insurance crises is a new  program that would have the state take on much of the risk

Of a massive hurricane.


The program is called the Florida Hurricane Excess Loan Program.  Under the proposal the state would cap the potential losses for private insurance companies at $40 billion dollars.  The hope being they would then cut insurance rates for wind coverage by 33 percent.


At a news conference today, Governor Charlie Crist was asked if this was putting the taxpayers of Florida too much on the hook, in the event of a major storm

(roll tape#1 o.q.”not going to leave them in the lurch”)


Speaking before the full House and Senate gathered on Wednesday, Crist stuck to basic answers when being asked specific questions about the proposals – somewhat different – between the Senate and House.


Currently, the state, through its Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, already covers excessive between $6 billion and $22 billion.  Governor Crist said how big that Cat Fund is is not the paramount issue this week (roll tape#2 o.q.”with right now”)

House Speaker Marco Rubio has said that with such big proposals being discussed in a relatively short time span, the legislature may need to wait until the regular session in March to come up with a comprehensive insurance plan.  But Governor Crist warned lawmakers that they better come up with something before then (roll tape#3 o.q.”they have caring hearts,too”)


The Top Democrat in the Senate, Hallandale Beach’s Steven Geller, admitted to reporters today that things might be moving too fast this week (roll tape#4 o.q.”the problem is right now”)


But Geller agreed with Governor Crist that its incumbent upon the legislature to bring home some savings to property insurance holders at the end of this special session (roll tape#5 o.q. “that’s not going to happen”)


One of the differences between the Senate and House proposals is that the House bill would allow private insurers to be able to tape the fund at $2 billion dollars, vs. the current $6 billion..Again, Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller (roll tape#5 o.q.”that’s the biggest”) 

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