citizens_insurance_logo_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla (AP) _ Florida's hurricane fund chief is warning that the state-created fund used to pay off claims after a big storm is dangerously overexposed.


Ever since Hurricane Andrew hit 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.

But Jack Nicholson, the chief operating officer of the fund, 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.