As I mentioned last week, Florida is now having to undertake the responsibilities of an insurance company. Florida's CFO, Alex Sink, is leaning against buying reinsurance for the Florida Hurricane Cat Fund and presumably she's making an informed business decision.
However, a different state agency is now being asked to allow modifications to a city's comprehensive plan (a kind of development map for the future).
Former Congressman Tom Evans, Chairman of the Florida Coalition for Preservation, cautioned Secretary Pelham [Florida's Secretary of Community Affairs], saying the go-ahead for Briny Breezes to become one of the most densely populated areas on Florida's east coast would strain local infrastructure while putting an overwhelming number of residents in a high-risk hurricane zone. Furthermore, it most definitely would cause evacuation problems and force Floridians to carry a multi-billion dollar insurance liability. (emphasis added). via IJ.
Unfortunately, Secretary Pelham does not work for the CFO, so a comprehensive risk plan for the state can not necessarily be adopted without further legislation or coordination. Thus, we can have one state agency approving what amounts to automatic increases in risk liabilities to the public insurance system without the approval of the state's insurer, Citizens. The problem was bad enough before when the state allows its public company to price below market--now it is possibly permitting the building of relatively high risk properties and forcing the public company to insure the properties. Shouldn't the tax payers of Florida expect some type of underwriting if they are going to be backing these project with insurance?
Developers can work their magic on local boards and then they can work their magic on the Department of Community Affairs and then when the storms occur, they end up wreaking their havoc on the public. While the DCA is the state's planning agency and is charged with reducing the effects of disasters, it is also charged with revitalizing communities. So, it would seem that once a plan is approved Citizens will have to take the homes if no private market company decides to cover them. Briny Breezes (map) has Citizens written all over it.