Florida’s 11 Years of Good Luck Finally Ran Out
2016 Hurricane Season Concludes
This hurricane season, Florida saw its first hurricane make landfall in 11 years- Hurricane Hermine. Shortly after, Hurricane Matthew, a major hurricane that just barely missed Florida’s east coast, caused a substantial amount of damage to Florida and triggered evacuation notices for nearly 1.5 million Floridians.
There is good news though. As Christian Cámara of the R Street Institute points out, reinsurance saved Florida from catastrophic losses:
“Thanks to responsible decisions made by Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature over the past several years, coupled with trends in the global economy, homeowners are not expected to see insurance rate increases because of these storms.”
As Florida moves on and continues the recovery process, as businesses return to normal and communities put cleanup efforts behind them, the Florida Chamber recognizes that hurricanes are part of Florida’s reality, and the question isn’t if a hurricane will hit, but when.
What’s Next for the Future of Reinsurance?
Be sure to join us in Miami on February 1-3 for the Florida Chamber’s 2017 Insurance Summit to learn more. Click here to register.
Consumer Alert: Beware of Insurance Scams
The Florida Chamber of Commerce and its Consumer Protection Coalition urge you to be on the lookout for unscrupulous home repair vendors and trial attorneys that try to profit off the disaster by asking you to sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Remember, consumers do not need to sign an AOB to get storm-related repairs.
Why This Matters
Property insurance premiums are increasing across Florida and AOB is to blame. The government-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has recommended an average rate increase of 6.8 percent statewide for residential policies next year to offset an explosion in non-weather-related water loss claims. Here’s what the Palm Beach Post said last week: Florida water scam is soaking consumers, must be plugged.
Gov. Scott Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Damaged by Hurricane Hermine
In case you missed it the following news Release was distributed from the office of Governor Rick Scott.
Today, Governor Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support local small businesses impacted by Hurricane Hermine. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm and recovery efforts. The application period is from today through October 31, 2016.
GOVERNOR SCOTT said, “I have toured areas across the Gulf Coast and Big Bend and spoken firsthand with families and businesses owners who are ready to get back to work. Restoring Florida’s small businesses is crucial to helping our communities recover from Hurricane Hermine and the Bridge Loan Program will help provide much-needed emergency assistance. We will continue to use every available state resource to help Floridians impacted by this storm throughout the entire recovery process.”
DEO is currently surveying businesses in the affected counties. To access the business survey, please go to http://flvbeoc.org/index.php?action=bda and select “Hurricane Hermine” from the drop-down menu.
DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide an expedient cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term loans. Up to $10 million from the General Revenue Fund has been allocated for the program.
DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “Small businesses across the state have been impacted by Hurricane Hermine. We know that small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and DEO is working to ensure they have the tools they need to get up and running as quickly as possible.”
Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees located in 51 counties affected by Hurricane Hermine can apply for short-term loans for up to $25,000. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to August 31, 2016, and demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Hermine.
To complete an application by the Oct. 31 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office at 850-898-3489.