2011 House Bill 1049 (Relating to insurance – refunding the Hurricane Relief Fund?)
Ever wonder why Hawaii state lawmakers are so insistent on raiding the hurricane relief fund year after year? And when they do take the money, how will the fund ever be paid back?
House Bill 1049 – an innocuous bill relating to insurance fees, answers those questions. Section 10 of the latest version of the bill that passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on March 30, 2011, states that: if the moneys in the hurricane reserve fund are insufficient to pay claims and other obligations when an event occurs, the fund “shall levy a surcharge not to exceed seven and one-half percent a year on premiums charged for all property and casualty insurance policies issued for risks insured in this State.”
So while property owners who have mortgages are required to carry their own hurricane insurance, this bill allows for the hurricane relief fund, via insurance providers, to continue charging property owners an additional surcharge until all other personal insurance claims have been paid.
What other personal claims will need to be paid for by this fund? Is this just a way to raise insurance rates? Or is this bill really just a way to ensure that the annual money grab made possible by the raiding of the hurricane relief fund doesn’t disappear?
To see the latest version of HB1049, go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/Bills/HB1049_SD1_.HTM
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