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Press Release

Key Insurance Regulators To Announce Plan For National Catastrophe Insurance Program
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Contacts:  Beth Scott, Florida
                Jonathon Kees, Florida
                (850) 413-2515
                Cell: (850) 519-5941
                Email: Beth.Scott@fldfs.com

 
Experts warn of financial calamity should disaster strike – San Francisco alone would suffer billions in damages from major emblor
 
SAN FRANCISCO – California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi will join other state insurance regulators Wednesday in announcing the development of a national catastrophe insurance program that would help provide coverage for the entire nation in the event of catastrophes.
 
The plan stems from two days of meetings during a San Francisco summit to develop such a program. It was developed during meetings led by Commissioner Garamendi, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, New York Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills, and Illinois Insurance Director Michael McRaith, as well as leaders from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
 
To emphasize the great need for such a program, the Commissioners cited evidence from the Association of Bay Area Governments showing projected consequences for the Bay Area from a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the Hayward Fault:
 
  • 80,000 to 160,000 homes and apartment units would become uninhabitable
  • As many as 300,000 people would be forced from their homes
  • As many as 150,000 would require public shelter

The summit, called the National Catastrophe Insurance Summit, was organized before Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma inflicted their devastating damage along the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida.  More recently, deadly tornadoes struck Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky. The billions of dollars in resulting damages will be partially covered by emergency funds from the Federal Government.  However, a national insurance policy would greatly reduce the need for emergency financial assistance and help create an affordable, comprehensive policy for many more people – including those who can't afford coverage now.

WHO: California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi,
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner Kevin McCarty, New York State Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills,
 Illinois Division of Insurance Director Michael T. McRaith

WHAT: National Catastrophe Insurance Summit

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
 1 pm media briefing – Bayside B (Ballroom level)
 4 pm media briefing – Bayside B (Ballroom level)
 Media check-in - Lobby Foyer, Grand Peninsula Ballroom D

WHERE: Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport
 1333 Bayshore Highway
 Burlingame, CA

CALL IN: (News media only)
 1:00 pm Dial: 866-418-3599   Pass Code: 13207313
 4:00 pm Dial: 866-868-1282   Pass Code: 13207315

PLEASE NOTE: Reporters must present valid media credentials to cover this summit and must get a Press Badge by checking-in at the Media Check-in located in the Hyatt Regency SFO Lobby Foyer or the Pine Room.  For more information visit the California Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov.

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Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov.  Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP.  Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921.  Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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