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Q

My question is does everyone who carries auto insurance has to have be assessed the Florida hurricane catastrophe fund emergency fee of $4.94 and is it a 1 time payment?


A

Yes, those in Florida that have property or casualty coverages through insurance policies such as a homeowner's policy, auto insurance policy, etc has to pay the assessment that the state collects for the FL Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF). Normally your policy would have a notation on it regarding this extra fee saying something to the effect, "your policy has increased 1% due to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Assessment."

It wouldn't be considered a one-time payment. While the state regulators levy the fee, insurers much charge you 1% of your premium and pay that money to the state. So, if the fee is still required at renewal you will pay that money to your insurance company, on the state's behalf.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) is a state run mandatory reinsurer which provides reimbursements to insurers writing residential property insurance in the state. The FHCF was created during a special legislative session in November 1993 following Hurricane Andrew. The law requires that if the cash balance of the FHCF is not sufficient to pay losses that a broad base of insurance lines will be assessed to fund revenue bonds to pay the losses.

The FHCF assessments apply to all property and casualty lines of business, including property and casualty business of surplus lines, but excluding workers' compensation, accident & health, medical malpractice, and federal flood. The current emergency assessment is for the purpose of financing the FHCF's shortfall from the 2005 hurricane season.

The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA), the entity that oversees the FHCF, has directed of office of insurance regulation to levy an emergency assessment upon all property and casualty business in the state of Florida, pursuant to section 215.555(6)(b)1 of the FL statutes.

So the FHCF assessment is now applicable to all property and casualty policies effective January 1, 2007. According to the FL office of insurance regulation (FOIR) the assessment must be collected at the first payment the company receives from the policyholder. This payment can include the down-payment if that is the first payment received from the policyholder. If the first payment occurs in the first installment, then it is then that the assessment is collected. The total assessment due from the insurer shall be included with the first payment

The assessment is applicable to an MGA fee or policy fee, as long as the insurance company considers those fees "premium" when reporting the financial statement. The assessment is not to be applied to any premium finance changes or installment fees. The assessment should be applied to all policies issued or renewed effective 1/1/07. Endorsements and other transactions occurring on policies issued or renewed prior to 1/1/07 will not be subject to the assessment.


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4 Responses to "My question is does everyone who carries auto insurance has to have be assessed the Florida hurricane catastrophe fund emergency fee of $4.94 and is it a 1 time payment?"
  1. Steven

    Why do I have to have MANDATED hurricane catastrophe fund on my car insurance? I don not own a home. What will it pay me if there is a hurricane? I live in an RV and if a hurricane is predicted I just tow my trailer out of town. Does me no good yet I am FORCED to carry it.

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    1. Mary Ann Spayd March 01, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Does the fact that we have had literally no major hurricanes in over 60 years count for anything?

        Reply »  
  2. William Asbury

    Your answer is quiet informative. Florida residents pay millions in homeowners insurance for hurricane coverage and then they turn around and stick us again for hurricane insurance with our car insurance.

      Reply»  
    1. susan January 11, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      I don't even own a house and my car is a 1998 Mazda, what is this fee gonna do for me?

        Reply »