State Rep. Janet Long (D-St. Petersburg) said “recognition of the problem by the Governor, Chief Financial Officer and Attorney General adds further importance and urgency” to a bill she filed this week that would limit the time that claims can be filed. Current law allows five years. Rep. Long’s bill (HB 1181) reduces that limit to three years. The bill’s Senate companion is SB 2264 by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today said she believes three years “is plenty of time to know if you had damage from a hurricane.” The CFO made the comment at today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet and a subgroup, the State Board of Administration (SBA), which serves as trustees for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. Attorney General Bill McCollum agreed, saying cutting off hurricane claims after some reasonable period “just makes common sense.” Governor Charlie Crist has also expressed interest in the bill.
The issue surfaced as the SBA was being asked to authorize another bond issue to help fuel the CAT Fund to cover new or reopened claims stemming from Hurricane Wilma. For more information, please click here.