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Hurricane Matthew - page 3

Flood insurance chief concedes his program failed to put customers first

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The head of the National Flood Insurance Program conceded Tuesday the program has stumbled in responding to natural disasters, but said he has already begun changes intended to emphasize service to its customers. “If you want to know where the National Flood Insurance Program has stumbled, its when we no longer put the customer first,” said Roy Wright, deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “At some point the program focused on the companies,…

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Manley Fuller: Hurricane Matthew delivers another reminder of life on Florida’s coastline

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Early estimates placed Florida’s total economic damage from Hurricane Matthew in the range of $25-$70 billion. With the weakening of the storm and a track that moved the storm eastward, the estimated damage from the storm dropped significantly, but that should not keep us from acknowledging the real threat Matthew was to Florida. Real estate analytics firm CoreLogic estimates more than 954,000 homes in Florida are at risk of surge damage from a Category 4 storm. If Matthew had turned…

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Despite storms Florida hurricane fund remains in good shape

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Florida’s streak of dodging hurricanes is over, but the state-created fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a storm remains in strong financial shape. Anne Bert, the chief operating officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, said preliminary estimates predict that the fund will pay out less than $200 million for Hurricane Matthew. Bert said it appears there will likely be only minimal payouts associated with Hurricane Hermine. The fund’s advisory council on Tuesday approved new financial estimates…

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Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund in robust health, report says

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The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund holds $17.5 billion in liquid assets, enough to meet its statutorily mandated reserves with $500 million left over, administrators said Tuesday. Furthermore, the fund, a backstop to the state’s property insurance companies, can easily go to the financial markets to raise money if Florida suffers storm damage sufficient to strain its reserves. That, according to a report delivered during a meeting of the fund’s advisers in Tallahassee. “The bottom line is, the Cat Fund is…

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Time’s up: Florida wrapping up voter registration

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This is the last chance for Floridians to register before this year’s crucial presidential election. Florida will close its voter registration books on Tuesday. A federal judge last week extended the registration period by six days due to the disruption and damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Democrats initially asked Gov. Rick Scott to extend the Oct. 11 deadline, but Scott turned down the request after saying that people had already had time to register. That prompted the Florida Democratic Party…

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Hurricane Matthew-related insurance claims pass the 75,000 barrier

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The number of insurance claims filed following Hurricane Matthew has now surpassed 75,000, state regulators announced Monday. The estimated insurance loss was $454 million. When last counted on Friday afternoon, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation had recorded 75,215 claims, of which 67,805 remained open. Residential property claims numbered 66,862; commercial, 1,660. The department posts a running tally of storm-related insurance claims on its website. Volusia County filed the most claims, at 22,244. Next, with 12,274, was Duval County. Brevard…

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Rick Scott wants feds to declare ‘major disaster’ in Florida after Matthew

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In St. Augustine Monday for an event promoting tourism in America’s oldest city, Gov. Rick Scott reiterated his call for the federal government to approve Florida’s entire request for a “major disaster declaration.” The federal government has not approved funding, asserts the governor’s office, “for individual assistance or for permanent work to roads, parks, and government buildings in local communities.” Scott, who has been pushing for such since Hurricane Matthew, is understandably nettled. “Since Hurricane Matthew impacted our state, I have continued…

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