Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hurricane Relief Fund Clarified

There is much confusion and misinformation about the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund (HHRF). Here is a letter from Gordon Ito, State Insurance Commissioner, that appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning. It provides official information on HHRF:

Hurricane fund can be restarted

We would like to clear up some misconceptions about the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund.

After Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1992, many insurers stopped writing hurricane coverage. The HHRF was the state’s response to provide hurricane insurance when there were limited private insurers available.

HHRF ceased operations when private insurers returned to the market in 2002, and has not collected any revenues since then. The monies remaining in the fund are kept to reactivate the coverage if necessary.

Every homeowner in Hawaii should already have hurricane insurance, which would cover any claims when a hurricane hits.

HHRF will be needed only if a hurricane strikes and an inadequate amount of private insurance is available.

The state will utilize HHRF to address the state’s fiscal crisis, and will incorporate provisions to quickly restart HHRF when necessary.

Gordon Ito
State insurance commissioner


Drew E. Kosora said...

The misconception is that the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund can be readily restarted. The underlying reason for the state insurance commissioner to take this stance is because it is his job to do so. It is well-known that there will never be enough funds to cover all the damages inflicted by any hurricane. There will always be inadequate amount of private insurance to cover all hurricane insurance claims. To use the HHRF to address the State's fiscal crisis is an example of the budgetary mismanagement of the government. To expect that every homeowner and business should already have hurricane insurance is the government's way of saying "you live and do business here, it's your responsibility, even if you can't afford it, well...move to a state where you don't have to worry about hurricanes."
To Gordon Ito, you know the "tricks" of the the insurance business, and that the purpose of insurance is not to lose money on claims but to always have a profitable return. As state insurance commissioner, have you not listened to what Abercrombie said of the HHRF? He will have no qualms in using the fund and entirely drain it. How then can the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund be restarted? There are no provisions in his mind in the law to restart the hurricane fund when needed. Where is the evidence to that effect, and what would prevent him from doing so?

Phil - Hawaii said...

Hawaii has been defending itself against hurricanes with two things more powerful. Both land and the jet stream are more powerful and Hawaii has both. Better yet, Hawaii has hundreds of square miles of land on the summits of tall volcanoes that steal moisture and heat from a hurricane and make snow.

They also deflect air up into the jet stream where it gets ripped away from the hurricane below.

Only Kauai is hurricane prone and the rest of Hawaii doesn't get damaged. Hawaii defends itself so well that it wasn't till recently that residents learned some big rain showers came from hurricanes that tried to hit and failed.

To watch a video of a hurricane die at the feet of a volcano see:


Also there are more details about Hawaii hurricanes on these two links:



Philip Maise
Pahoa Hawaii