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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s Recommendations to Reduce Florida’s Hurricane Risk

March 12, 2009

“On behalf of Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and our members across Florida, I applaud Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Alex Sink for her letter to Chairman Patterson and Chairman Richter, which outlines important suggestions we should take to reduce Florida’s hurricane risk.  The steps she suggests the state take are based on a thoughtful, long-term strategy and we believe, if implemented, will assist in returning our property insurance market to a healthy state.

“We applaud the sensibility and rational decision-making that the CFO is proposing, and over time believe these important steps, including a “glide path” on Citizen’s rates to appropriate levels, will help to bring national insurance companies back to the Florida market and begin the process of lowering premiums to consumers. 

“Additionally, AIF realizes the tremendous success of the My Safe Florida Home program, and the value of the 400,000 plus Florida home inspections to the state, the insured and insurers.  We know that strengthening homes through mitigation protects against the devastating effects of hurricanes, helps reduce the state’s exposure to catastrophic damage and over time will help reduce insurance premiums.  Thus, we agree it is imperative that the program is continued and made available to the public.

“For the past three years, AIF has advocated for these very changes and supports CFO Sink’s leadership on reducing Florida’s hurricane risk.  We need desperately to reduce the current CAT Fund and embrace the long-term solutions that will stabilize the insurance markets and benefit Floridians statewide.  AIF is committed to working with CFO Sink, Chairman Richter and Chairman Patterson to do everything we can in an effort to see these initiatives through to full fruition.”