Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund still strong at end of season, nearly $10 billion available

Best financial shape since it was created

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is ending this year's storm season with some good news.

The state-created fund that backs up private insurers in Florida remains in the best financial shape it has been since it was created 20 years ago.

New estimates drawn by financial consultants and Wall Street firms suggest the fund can borrow enough money to cover its obligations for the hurricane season that ends next month. Insurers are required to purchase coverage from the fund.

Jack Nicholson, executive director of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, said the fund remains strong since it has nearly $10 billion available.

The situation isn't perfect since a big storm could wipe out the fund and leave it short of money the next year. Some critics contend the state should scale back the fund's size.

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