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Press Release

Office Releases Hurricane Claims Report For The 2004-2005 Hurricane Season
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Contact:  Beth Scott
               (850) 413-2515
Tallahassee – The Office of Insurance Regulation released a report Tuesday on its Disaster Tracking System Reporting database. The Office conducted a review of claims paid by county, for the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons, based upon information that some claims may have been reported in counties that were not in the final emergency disaster declarations (targeted counties) from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
Out of a total of 2.7 million hurricane claims filed in 2004 and 2005, the Office identified approximately 33,000 claims reported outside of a declared disaster area.  Of these, 429 claims were mistakenly reported by companies as hurricane related and have been corrected in the recent claims reports submitted to the Office.
The Office's Market Investigations unit contacted 250 insurers to participate in the auditing of data reported to the Disaster Tracking System.  Each insurer was required to provide a statement certified by an officer or director of the company confirming the accuracy of the data reported and to provide an explanation for why any claims were considered hurricane related according to s. 627.4025, Florida Statutes.
Under Florida law, for insurance related purposes, hurricane is defined as "a storm system that has been declared to be a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service. The duration of the hurricane includes the time period, in Florida:
         1.  Beginning at the time a hurricane watch or hurricane 
              warning is issued for any part of Florida by the National
              Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service;
         2.  Continuing for the time period during which the hurricane
              conditions exist anywhere in Florida; and
         3.  Ending 72 hours following the termination of the last
              hurricane watch or hurricane warning issued for any part
              of Florida by the National Hurricane Center of the National
              Weather Service".
Of the 32,920 identified claims, companies reported that 19,177 were certified hurricane claims pursuant to statute and policy language, 13,039 claims were verified as hurricane or wind related by adjusters or appraisers, 171 were paid upon verification from the primary carrier as excess coverage, and 104 were claims from targeted counties that were not considered hurricane related.
The accuracy of the Office's data collection system is included as part of an on-going data validation and verification process conducted through a regulatory market conduct examination, target investigations and future financial examinations.