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Florida's hurricane fund in best shape ever

Posted at 2:17 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 14:17:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a hurricane is in the best shape ever ahead of storm season.

Estimates prepared by Raymond James show the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will have $17.4 billion available this year. This marks the first time the fund has more money than it would need to pay out if storms racked the state.

The estimates are expected to be formally approved Thursday by a panel overseeing the fund.

The financial health of the fund is important because the state can impose a surcharge on most insurance policies to replenish it if the money runs out. Some critics have called the surcharge a "hurricane tax."

The fund has grown because Florida hasn't been hit by a hurricane since Wilma in 2005.

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