Is it time for Nat'l Catastrophe Fund?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Wind, water and fire are a few of the elements destroying large parts of the country this year. 2011 started with snowstorms in the Northeast and Midwest, followed by tornadoes in the South and wildfires all over.

The National Flood Insurance Program is bankrupt as water begins to recede in South Dakota where it's been a soaked summer.

So far this year there have been 10 disasters causing more than a billion dollars each in damage.

That's the most billion dollar natural disasters ever in a single year in the US. Some say its proof the country would benefit from a National Catastrophe Fund.

President Barack Obama, while on the campaign trail in 2008, supported more federal help. "I think it's very important that the people of Florida are able to get insurance and I think the nation government has to provide some help."

But getting Congress on board has been tough, because most states have less exposure than Florida. Bob Lotane, with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, says the recent sting of storms proves no one is safe. "We've had twisters that have destroyed a good sized city in the middle of the country. We've had earthquakes that were all up and down the eastern coast and the Atlantic coast and now we've had a hurricane that has hit 12 states, possible the worst damage is being seen in Vermont."

Florida has its own cat fund, but critics say it's not fat enough to keep the state from going bankrupt if a major hurricane hits a large city. A national fund would make that scenario less likely.

Advocates of a national cat fund believe the reassurance would bring more insurance companies into Florida and could help the state drop costly Citizens Property Insurance Policies.

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