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Press Release

Insurance Commissioner To Testify On Building Code Exemptions
Friday, July 7, 2006
TALLAHASSEE (July 7, 2006) – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty will testify at the next meeting of the Florida Building Commission regarding the exemption of the northwest Panhandle from the statewide building codes.  McCarty is scheduled to appear before the commission on Tuesday, during its three day meeting in Hollywood, FL. 
The Florida building code includes wind-borne debris regions along the coast which are subject to winds of 120 mph or greater and susceptible to wind damage during storms.  Residential construction in these regions requires enhanced construction and wind mitigation features including hurricane shutters and impact resistant glass.  However, when the code was put in place a large part of the Panhandle, from Franklin County to Escambia County, was exempted and the code only extends one-mile inland rather than the average five-miles for the rest of the state.
"If we include these features at the time of construction it is far less expensive and will save these homeowners money year-after-year on their insurance premiums," said McCarty.  "Make no mistake, higher losses that are sustained due to less stringent building codes in these areas are losses that will be born by all Floridians.  The argument that these parts of the state will not be hit with high winds has been proven not to be true."
Also scheduled to testify before the Florida Building Commission on this subject are Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs Thaddeus Cohen and Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.  The Supplementary Rule Development Workshop on Rule 9B-3.047 Florida Building Code is scheduled this Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.
July 10, 11 and 12, 2006
Hard Rock Hotel
1 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314
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