Donate today and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the American Public Media Board.
SCOTT JAGOW: Today’s the start of the hurricane season — and this year could be a doozy. Forecasters expect about 15 named storms, and a handful of them could be major hurricanes. How are insurance companies reacting? In Florida, they’re running for the hills. Florida’s largest insurer is now a state-run company. Dan Grech reports.
DAN GRECH: Florida created Citizens Insurance in 2002 to be the insurer of last resort. But then came eight hurricanes in two years, and private insurers started canceling policies along the coast.
Citizens now covers nearly half of Florida properties.
NANCY WATKINS: How much business do you want to shift into Citizens? How far do you want to go?
Actuary Nancy Watkins is a principal at Milliman, an insurance consulting firm.
WATKINS: I mean at the extreme, you could have the whole state insuring itself. Is that really a good thing?
Many observers don’t think so.
William Stander is with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America:
WILLIAM STANDER: I think history has proven that private markets are the most efficient way of moving money around, and not through government mechanisms.
But Citizens is likely to keep growing. Florida has frozen Citizens premiums until January 2009, giving the state firm the cheapest rates in town.
I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
Don’t miss this special