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Fay Landfall Raises Insurance Questions

August 19th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Thousands are without power and Governor Charlie Crist has already visited Key West and Naples in the wake of Tropical Storm Fay. Damage is minimal, and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, thats good news for your pocketbook.

As Fay inched across Florida, the states emergency operations center was buzzing.

Most of the damage has really been limited to the heavy rainfall and not really structural damage, State Emergency Director Craig Fugate said.

The lack of major damage is good news for every insurance customer in Florida.

Fay is the first storm to make landfall in Florida since the state took on 20 billion dollars in insurance risk.

Every policy holder is already paying for the storms of 2004 and 5. Insurance agents are worried a big storm could end up with claims being paid late and costing everyone more.

Our fear is that our policy holders are going to face assessments because the state organizations are not well-capitalized, Bob Lotane said.

Earlier this year CFO Alex Sink tried to get state lawmakers to reduce the states risk, but GOP leaders said no.

And at the end of the day, we Floridians will be paying taxes for 30 years of pretty significant amounts to be able to cover those losses, Sink said.

The ever-optimistic Charlie Crist noted costs are coming down and more companies are in business.

You know, the fact that we have about 30 new businesses that have entered the Florida market in the past year and a half is testament to that, Crist said.

Still the fact remains every Floridian could be on the hook for thousands of dollars if the big one hits anytime soon.

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