BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe

Senators unveil catastrophe bills


WASHINGTON--Florida's two U.S. senators Tuesday unveiled six bills designed to deal with natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, during a Capitol Hill press conference.

Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said the bills are intended in part to serve as placeholders to foster a consensus approach to natural disaster policy, including the creation of a national commission on catastrophic risk and insurance as called for in legislation introduced by Sen. Nelson in January.

The six bills call for:

  • Creating a national hurricane research initiative to improve preparedness.

  • Providing a limited tax credit for mitigation efforts undertaken by both businesses and homeowners to reduce the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes.

  • Creating a national backstop for state natural catastrophe insurance programs.

  • Allowing creation of pretax natural catastrophe reserves by insurers.

  • Creating new individual catastrophe savings accounts.

  • Reforming the regulation of nonadmitted insurers and reinsurers.
The last bill is identical to the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act passed by the House last year. That bill, which was opposed by the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. because of its stringent definition of "qualified risk manager," has been reintroduced in the House with a more liberal definition, but those changes do not appear in the Senate placeholder bill.

The senators did not, however, deal at all with the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which has become the target of some legislators' ire because of the limited exemption from federal antitrust laws it grants to insurers.

"We want to get the process started," said Sen. Nelson. "We don't want to get wrapped around the axle of an issue" that would be contentious and controversial.