TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – If Florida were to experience a major hurricane, the state may not have the funds to pay off all the claims.

Ever since Hurricane Andrew slammed into south Miami-Dade nearly 20 years ago, the state has relied on a state-backed hurricane fund to provide a backstop to both private insurers and Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

The chief operating officer of the fund, Jack Nicholson, told state legislators on Wednesday that the ongoing turmoil in the world financial markets is raising questions about whether the fund could borrow enough money to pay off claims after a hurricane.

This year the fund is providing $18.5 billion worth of coverage.

Nicholson wants to scale back the size of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund but that would likely result in higher insurance rates.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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