New Fla. insurance commissioner talks about readiness for 2016 storms

Florida’s largely untested insurers face what is expected to be the stormiest hurricane season in years, but the state’s new insurance commissioner David Altmaier said Wednesday he sees reasons for encouragement.

“It’s very encouraging where we are currently as a state,” Altmaier said. There’s always a lot of work to be done to stay prepared, but he said, “I think there should be some optimism going into storm season.”

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier

Many companies are untested in the sense of real-world hurricanes, though state financial stress tests have found 67 domestic companies fared well under different hurricane scenarios, officials said.

Others sounded notes of caution. The heavy transfer of underwriting risk from state-run insurer Citizens to smaller Florida-based private insurers “adds to the market’s dependence on smaller underwriters with more limited capital levels and access to new capital than Citizens,” ratings firm Fitch said.

Altmaier spoke on hurricane season’s opening day Wednesday at Florida International University’s hurricane research facility in Miami.

Read more in our story here.



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