The Real Deal Miami

State hurricane catastrophe fund in best shape ever

The fund should have surplus seasonal coverage capacity for the first time starting June 1

May 14, 2016 04:00PM

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Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Wilma

A fund the state created two decades ago to help cover the cost of hurricane damage is in the best financial shape of its history.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund should have a record $17.4 billion of claims-paying capacity for the Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1.

The upcoming season will be the first in which the catastrophe fund will have more coverage capacity than it should need, according to a financial report on the fund by St. Petersburg-based Raymond James and Associates.

The fund’s advisory council approved estimates that the fund will have $400 million more than its obligations this year and could borrow up to $7.5 billion if necessary after a hurricane.

No hurricane has hit Florida directly since Wilma in 2005, which is the primary reason for the improvement in the financial condition of the catastrophe fund. [Sun-Sentinel]  Mike Seemuth