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Florida Revives JUA For Commercial Property

Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet recently approved an emergency rule to revive the defunct Joint Underwriting Association to insure commercial properties that are unable to obtain coverage from Admitted or Surplus Lines companies. The JUA will be a market of last resort for properties that can't find coverage in the voluntary market and do not qualify for coverage under the rules of the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has received requests for assistance over the Internet, by phone, through emails, and in person from companies that have had their coverage reduced or premiums dramatically increased, along with many businesses that cannot locate coverage at any price. "I have heard from too many Florida business owners who are facing losing their insurance in the middle of hurricane season," said Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. "If left unchecked, this problem will have a negative effect on our State's economy, as we have already heard from businesses that may have to move out of Florida."
The plan approved by the Governor and Cabinet makes use of a statute that was enacted 20 years ago to deal with a commercial insurance crisis. It created a JUA, which was later deactivated, but the enabling law remained on the books along with mechanisms that allowed it to be reactivated. The Board of the JUA was appointed in late August and has commenced operation.