Volume 1 Number 48
November 29, 2004




Action by Gov., Cabinet anticipates additional legislation

TALLAHASSEE-Governor Jeb Bush and members of Florida’s Cabinet approved an emergency rule banning insurance companies from canceling or nonrenewing insurance policies for hurricane victims whose homes have yet to be repaired. State Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher recommended the rule to protect thousands of Floridians still waiting for storm repairs who would be uninsurable if they lost their insurance coverage.

“We recognize that many homeowners are being told there is a substantial waiting list for repairs, due to a shortage of contractors,” Gallagher said. “Without this protection, homeowners who lost their insurance coverage would be uninsurable. I applaud the governor and my fellow Cabinet members for making sure that storm victims have property protection.”

The emergency rule, developed by the Office of Insurance Regulation, is effective until Dec. 31st. It applies to all residential and commercial residential properties and prohibits insurance companies from canceling insurance policies until 60 days after repairs are complete.

“This is a very necessary measure to protect Floridians from becoming uninsurable and the attendant problems that could follow such a situation,” said Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who heads ups the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Gallagher said he will ask the legislature to address this issue in next month’s special session by giving insurance regulators the authority to protect homeowners from losing coverage until storm repairs are complete.

Gallagher will also ask lawmakers to take steps to prevent consumers from being charged large multiple hurricane deductibles when more than one storm strikes Florida in a single season. The Office of Insurance Regulation reported that to date, more than 29,000 Floridians have paid more than $50 million in second, third and fourth deductibles.

A copy of the emergency rule is available as attachment to this release at http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/companies/pdf/69OER04-06.pdf.

The skyline for November is the beautiful city of Lakeland in Polk County.