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U.S. catastrophe fund proposed
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published June 28, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - A U.S. House bill seeking to stabilize the insurance market in disaster-prone areas would use private investors to build a national backup fund that states could use after the worst catastrophes.
Investors would gamble that a Category 5 hurricane wouldn't make a direct hit on an area like Tampa Bay, or that a major earthquake wouldn't be centered in San Francisco or Los Angeles. They would then get their original investment and interest returned after the contracted period.
If, however, a disaster is so large state catastrophe funds and private insurance can't cover losses, investors could lose some or all of their money, based on how much the federal fund is depleted.
That would only happen if a so-called 100- to 250-year event - such as the worst hurricane, earthquake or tornado that could be expected over that period - struck a major population center, report congressional staffers working on the bill.
The new fund would be available only to states that already have state-run catastrophe funds or insurers of last resort.