The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) is a state program that reimburses residential property insurers in Florida for a portion of their losses from hurricanes. The state law that created the FHCF requires that if the cash balance of the FHCF is not sufficient to pay reimbursements, bonds will be issued backed by assessments on most property and casualty insurance premiums.
In order to provide sufficient funds to pay reimbursements from the 2005 hurricanes, the FHCF issued three series of tax-exempt, post-event revenue bonds. To support these bonds, assessments were levied on all Florida property and casualty insurance premiums except for those exempted by statute (workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, and national flood insurance). The assessments apply to policies issued both by admitted insurers and by surplus lines insurers.
The FHCF is now able to fully fund the outstanding bonds due to beneficial growth in its assessment base and the final settlement of all 2005 insurer claims. Therefore, emergency assessments will be terminated approximately 18 months earlier than originally anticipated. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has recently issued two Orders terminating the emergency assessments on all policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015.
The OIR Orders, which are available at the link below, provide information for admitted insurers, surplus lines agents, and insureds procuring coverage under Section 626.938, F.S., regarding the termination of the emergency assessments.
Emergency Assessments will continue as follows:
a) For policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2015, the Emergency Assessment is 0%
b) For policies issued or renewed January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014, the Emergency Assessment is 1.3%
c) For policies issued or renewed January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2010, the Emergency Assessment is 1%
d) For policies issued or renewed prior to January 1, 2007, the Emergency Assessment is 0%
It is important to note that the emergency assessments will continue to apply to the direct written premium on all “related transactions” at the applicable percentage described above. “Related transactions” include, but are not limited to, endorsements, policy cancellations, and audit premiums related to assessable policies issued or renewed prior to January 1, 2015.
For additional information related to continued reporting requirements, refer to the Orders and to the INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM dated July 21, 2014 issued by OIR and available at the link below.