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Despite Storms Florida Hurricane Fund Remains in Good Shape

Hurricane
Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 17:51:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's streak of dodging hurricanes is over, but the state-created fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a storm remains in strong financial shape.

Anne Bert, the chief operating officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, said preliminary estimates predict that the fund will pay out less than $200 million for Hurricane Matthew. Bert said it appears there will likely be only minimal payouts associated with Hurricane Hermine.

The fund's advisory council on Tuesday approved new financial estimates that show the fund has roughly $17.5 billion available and could borrow $7.7 billion more if needed.

The financial health of the fund is important because the state can impose a surcharge on most insurance policies to replenish it if the money runs out. Some critics have called the surcharge a "hurricane tax."

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