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Fla. Insurance Fund Could Still Fall Short Of Needs

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File photo of hurricane damage. (Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of hurricane damage. (Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida still may not have enough money to pay off hurricane insurance claims if a big storm hits.

New claims paying estimates drawn up for a state advisory panel conclude that the state could fall $1.5 billion short of what’s needed to cover its obligations.

The panel will review and approve the estimates Tuesday, which are similar to ones drawn up earlier this year.

Florida created a backstop for insurers after Hurricane Andrew slammed into the state nearly 20 years ago. But the fund has to borrow money if claims exceed its cash reserves.

The new estimates conclude the state could likely borrow up to $7 billion after a hurricane. The $7 billion would be paid back with a surcharge placed on every property and auto insurance policy.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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