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Bermuda reinsurers affected


Florida's new hurricane insurance law will most affect Bermuda reinsurers and Lloyd's of London--"the biggest players" in the state's homeowners reinsurance market, said Jim Henderson, president and chief operating officer of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based broker Brown & Brown Inc.

Bermuda provides about 35% of reinsurance capacity for homeowners in Florida, said Bradley L. Kading, president and executive director of the Assn. of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers.

"We are still in the process of determining what potential effects the legislation may have on the industry in Florida," a spokesman for Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. said.

Particularly for Bermuda's newest reinsurers, the law could "constrain their growth, could cramp their business plans somewhat," said Mark Rouck, senior director at Fitch Ratings in Chicago.

"Lloyd's is always concerned with any new legislation that may have the unintended consequence of limiting the risks that go to the private insurance market," a spokesman for Lloyd's America said. "Lloyd's believes the private market is best equipped to handle natural cat risk."