Hoping to prevent another California utility from being driven into bankruptcy by wildfires, state officials may create a new kind of insurance fund to help cover costs from the increasingly devastating disasters. The idea was proposed last year by a state lawmaker who formally introduced a bill toward that end in January. It could potentially also be taken up by a new commission examining wildfire issues and utility infrastructure after it begins meeting for the first time Monday in Sacramento. How it would work and who would fund it remain unclear, but the bill envisions electric utilities paying into the fund, while a leading consumer group has suggested shifting the financial burden to the property insurance market. State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who authored the bill last year that created the wildfire commission, said it would be a worthwhile concept for the group to explore. Dodd has also had conversations about the concept with his fellow lawmakers, including Assemblyman Chad … [Read more...] about California considers wildfire insurance fund to avoid repeat of PG&E’s woes
Florida hurricane catastrophe fund
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is considering using billions in unspent disaster relief funds earmarked for areas including hurricane-pounded Puerto Rico and Texas and more than a dozen other states to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall as he weighs signing a national emergency declaration to get it built without Congress. The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to comb through its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds that Congress earmarked last year, to see what money could be diverted to the wall as part of a declaration. That’s according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.It is the latest sign that the administration is laying the groundwork for a possible emergency order as negotiations between Trump and congressional Democrats to reopen the partially shuttered government have ground to a … [Read more...] about Trump administration eyes raiding hurricane relief funds to build border wall
TALLAHASSEE — Hurricane Michael, which pummeled 10 Panhandle counties and spurred evacuation orders for 375,000 Floridians in October, left nearly seven times the debris of Hurricane Irma, which barreled across 45 counties in 2017. And in the three months since Michael came ashore at Mexico Beach, debris continues to be picked up, more than 102,000 people have registered for assistance and 16 counties have qualified for federal aid. "This is a massive, massive storm that we must deal with," Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, said Monday as lawmakers assessed the storm to determine what the state can do and how much of a request will be made to the federal government. "We must encourage the administration to come up with a package that we can submit to Congress that adequately deals with the problems that the poorest part of the state, the most underserved part of the state is going to be dealing with," Broxson said, referring to the heavily … [Read more...] about ‘They’re going to be dealing with it for generations and generations’: Lawmakers assess Hurricane Michael
0 Comments By Leslie Scism Leslie Scism The Wall Street Journal BiographyLeslie Scism @lesliescism [email protected] Oct. 11, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET Much of the damage to homes from Hurricane Michael will be paid by an array of small, little-known insurers, backed up by larger reinsurance companies around the globe. Florida is an oddball insurance market for homeowners, where household-name companies like State Farm and Allstate Corp. don’t have the outsize roles they do in other states. Officials had to develop a new strategy after these brand-name insurers shrank their presence in the wake of Andrew, Katrina and other hurricanes from 1992 through 2005. Today, Florida is heavily reliant on a group of about 50 small-to-midsize insurance carriers to protect homeowners. These carriers are required to buy ample amounts of reinsurance because they don’t have plump capital cushions like those of bigger insurers. Reinsurers are specialists in sharing the risk of … [Read more...] about Hurricane Michael to Test Florida’s Unique Insurance Market
Ana Ceballos Tallahassee Democrat Published 4:36 p.m. UTC Jun 20, 2018 If a deadly hurricane threatens Florida this year, just over a third of the state’s counties would not have adequate shelter space considered safe enough for storms that intensify to a strong Category 4 or an even more dangerous Category 5, according to state estimates. For decades, Florida emergency management leaders have worked to bolster the amount of shelter space in a state that has weathered some of the most severe storms in the country. They have come a long way in creating more spaces considered safe and appropriate for the worst storms as building codes have improved and sturdier schools are built. For example, counties in the Panhandle and much of the state’s east coast have enough space in shelters that meet the strictest safety standards. But estimates by state leaders show 24 counties do not have enough suitable space to meet the shelter demand for people who … [Read more...] about Are Florida’s hurricane shelters safe enough to protect evacuees during the big storm?