Florida’s continued lucky streak when it comes to dodging hurricane is helping a key state fund reach its best financial shape ever in the two decades it has been in place.
The state-created fund known as the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund should have $17.4 billion available for the Atlantic hurricane season that starts June 1. This marks the first time ever that the fund has more money than it would need to pay out if storms racked the state.
The financial health of the account nicknamed the “Cat Fund” is important to Floridians regardless of where they live. The state can impose a surcharge on most insurance policies, including auto insurance policies, to replenish the fund if it runs out of money. Some critics have called the surcharge a “hurricane tax.”
Kapil Bhatia, a financial adviser for the fund who works for Raymond James and Associates, said the news about the fund was “very positive” for the state’s insurance market and for the state’s economy. Raymond James prepared a report on the fund’s financial strength for an advisory council that oversees the fund.