Fla. Cabinet Extends Moratorium to March 31

December 21, 2004

In an emergency meeting today in Tallahassee, Gov. Jeb Bush and members of Florida’s Cabinet again moved to approve an emergency rule banning insurance companies from canceling or non-renewing insurance policies of storm victims whose home have yet to be repaired.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher , as a member of the Cabinet, urged adoption of the rule to protect thousands of hurricane victims still waiting for repairs to be completed and would be uninsurable if they lost their insurance coverage. Gallagher had pushed for the rule to be made permanent in Florida law during the recent special session.

“Thousands of Floridians still waiting for help to rebuild or repairs to be done can breathe easier thanks to action we took today,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services. The department has taken more than 160,000 calls from Floridians recovering from the back-to-back hurricanes and needing help with their insurance company or financial institution.

The emergency rule, developed by the Office of Insurance Regulation, applies to all homes and condominiums damaged during the 2004 hurricane season in which a storm claim has been filed. Insurance companies will be prohibited from canceling or non-renewing these policyholders until 60 days after repairs are made.

The rule is effective January 1, 2005, and will remain in effect until March 31.

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