New State Commercial Insurance Organization Given The Green Light To Begin Operations
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today approved a servicing carrier for the newly formed Florida Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (PCJUA), along with the contract the carrier has signed with the PCJUA Board of Directors. Having met all the statutory requirements of the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office), the PCJUA can now appoint agents, accept applications for insurance and handle claims for small businesses unable to access coverage in the private market.
The new servicing carrier, ICAT Specialty Insurance Company, of Tampa, FL, can write commercial non-residential policies to cover up to $1 million of a business's structure value and up to $1 million of coverage for contents and business interruption.
"This is an efficient and effective response to a burgeoning crisis in our state," said McCarty. "The lack of commercial insurance availability threatens Florida's economy and requires action. The PCJUA can work to bring relief to a number of Florida's small businesses that face losing their insurance in the middle of hurricane season."
"This association has gotten off the ground in a remarkably short amount of time," said John Collins, Chairman of the PCJUA Board of Directors. "Everyone involved in this effort deserves a lot of credit for their work to help our state's economy stay strong."
Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet approved an emergency rule in August establishing a property and casualty joint underwriting association to make commercial property insurance available to Florida businesses that are unable to find coverage in either the admitted or surplus lines insurance markets. The plan made use of a statute that was put into law in 1986 (F.S. 627.351(5)). It created a Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) which eventually was deactivated, but the enabling statute remained on the books along with the triggering mechanisms which allowed it to be reactivated.
For the JUA to be launched, a minimum of 100 applications had to be received by the Florida Market Assistance Plan (FMAP) within a 3-month period. Of those seeking insurance through FMAP, 80 percent had to have no offers of coverage. That trigger was reached three days after the Cabinet approved the PCJUA rule.
The Office has also approved the commercial insurance rates and forms that will be used by the PCJUA. The toll-free number for information about the PCJUA is 866-416-4728.
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