Canadian Underwriter

What’s new: In brief (April 17, 2005)

April 17, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter

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Florida’s state-run windstorm insurer of last resort, Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp., says it will face a US$516 million shortfall in its account following last year’s unprecedented hurricane season. The shortfall could result in every insured homeowner in the state paying a one-time assessment. Responding to the news, insurers say lawmakers needs to act quickly to decide how the shortfall will be made up, with just three week remaining before the state legislature adjourns. The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) adds that part of the problem was created by a court decision last year allowing residents to access full limits on their windstorm policies even if damage was caused by another source, such as flood.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released poll results showing arbitration is faster, simpler and less costly than litigation, and is favored by the public. The Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) says arbitration is one means to reduce the growing cost burden of the U.S. tort system. “As the cost of the U.S. tort system approaches an astounding US$300 billion per year, we must explore ways to make our civil justice system more efficient and more effective,” says ILR president Lee Rickard. The survey was taken of 609 people who voluntarily took part in a binding arbitration.

The Toronto Insurance Women’s Association (TIWA) will honor past presidents at its April 19 dinner meeting, an event which will also feature motivational speaker Barbara Turnbull, creator of the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research. And on May 17, the association holds its annual general meeting, including election of officers. For more on TIWA events, visit

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