New Laws Ease Pain of Fall Hurricane Season

Physician's Money Digest, September 2005, Volume 12, Issue 13

Wall Street Journal

For many US doctors, the end of summer means more than just pencils, books, and the beginning of school. Physicians who live along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico also face peak hurricane season from August through October. Since the beginning of this year's season, which runs June 1 through November 30, already a record-breaking seven tropical storms have been reported during June and July. This year, however, Florida residents will have the protection of a series of hurricane bills signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush in December 2004. According to the , these laws require insurance companies to use clear language when explaining their coverage and deductible policy to customers. They also require insurers to wait at least 90 days after a storm before dropping a customer and to speed up the claims process by addressing claims within 14 days after notice has been given. Hopefully, Florida residents will not have the opportunity to utilize the new laws. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has revised their original prediction of 15 tropical storms and nine hurricanes to an expected seasonal total of 18 to 21 tropical storms of which nine to 11 will become hurricanes and five to seven hurricanes will escalate to a major hurricane, characterized as having winds of more than 111 mph.