The Real Deal Miami

Florida Cabinet suspects fraud, delays fee increase for hurricane claims

February 25, 2010 02:55PM

The Florida Cabinet has delayed approving a raise in insurance policyholder fees to help pay claims from the 2005 hurricane season until there is better analysis into the legitimacy of the claims. Florida state leaders are concerned about the recent growth of public adjusters, who are often hired by policyholders to fight insurers on claims, and their aggressive advertising to consumers to make claims on hurricane damage. The proposed fee increase of $710 million would come from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, a state trust fund which has already borrowed nearly $2 billion for 2005 hurricane claims. Governor Crist and other officials have expressed support for bills proposed by Sen. Mike Bennet and Rep. Janet Long that would create new limitations on how public adjusters operate to limit the amount of fraudulent claims.