Letters to the Editor

Florida’s hurricane insurers are on strong financial footing

We appreciate the Herald’s efforts to educate its readers on the financial health of the state’s home insurers (“Now is the time to evaluate your hurricane insurance. It isn't as simple as you think,” June 18). However, the story is based on a press release by Weiss Ratings, an organization that markets high-priced investment newsletters with emails titled, for example, “The Secret Pattern that Could Predict the Next Crash.”

Its opinions are not recognized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — and certainly not by the insurance industry — because they fail to consider the rigorous reinsurance programs purchased by insurance carriers. A.M. Best and Demotech are more widely recognized as qualified insurance company ratings agencies.

Furthermore, readers were led to believe that many Florida homeowners with Hurricane Irma claims were still waiting to be paid. However, 91.5 percent of residential property claims have been adjusted and paid, according to filings received by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation as of June 12.

The 1990s are over. The number and financial strength of insurers operating in Florida have improved markedly. Insurers have passed the Florida’s rigorous catastrophe reinsurance stress test, reinsurance reviews of rating agencies and have combined capital and reinsurance to pay all claims resulting from three Hurricane Andrew-sized storms. Florida homeowners can be confident their home insurers are financially strong, heavily reinsured, and committed to serving their customers.

William Stander, executive director, Florida Property & Casualty Association,

Tallahassee

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