The Florida legislature created three organizations to financially support the private insurance industry and protect policyholders. To cover deficits, each entity can levy assessments that increase the premiums on property-casualty policies. Those assessments have totaled $6.4 billion since 2004. The organizations are:
• The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. Known widely as the Cat Fund, the nonprofit, tax-exempt trust fund was created to stabilize Florida’s private insurance market after Hurricane Andrew ravaged the state in 1992. By law, private insurers must buy some of their property reinsurance from the Cat Fund. The Cat Fund’s 1.3% assessment was eliminated on most property insurance policies effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Total assessment: $3.3 billion.
• Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Created in 2002 and headquartered in Tallahassee, this nonprofit, tax-exempt government entity is designed to provide property insurance to Floridians who cannot find insurance coverage in the private market. Citizens is the largest property insurer in Florida, with about 485,000 policies in force and $143.5 billion in risk. The company stopped collecting its last assessment in July 2015.
Total assessments: $2.06 billion. (In addition, Citizens received a $715 million bailout from the legislature in 2006.)
• Florida Insurance Guaranty Association. FIGA is a state-sponsored nonprofit established in 1970 as a “safety net’’ for consumers. The association, which consists of 600 property and casualty insurers, pays the outstanding claims of insolvent insurance concerns. FIGA’s last assessment was in 2012.
Total assessments: $1,077,289,174