Florida hurricane insurance fund heads into storm season with strong ability to pay claims



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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The Florida fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a hurricane is remaining strong near the end of storm season.

New estimates approved Tuesday show that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund should have nearly $13 billion available. Wall Street firms estimate that the fund could also borrow an additional $8.3 billion if needed.

Those totals exceed the amount the "Cat Fund" would need.

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

The amount of money in the fund has grown because Florida hasn't been hit by a hurricane since Wilma in 2005.

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