By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
TALLAHASSEE The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
has announced it will be conducting an online survey to
hear the problems that businesses in the state are encountering
when they try to get business insurance coverage.
In a news release, the office said it had already heard
from businesses and policymakers from around the state regarding
problems with the availability and cost of commercial insurance
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said they need to find
out which businesses are having difficulty, where they are
located and the challenges they are facing. He said armed
with that information, the state hopes to develop targeted
remedies to provide relief to the business community.
The online survey will consist of 10 questions dealing with
the type of business that is responding, 10 questions about
the specific insurance difficulty the business is encountering
and an area for individual feedback. Any business can respond
by going to
The release said that most of the questions could be answered
by pointing and clicking on drop-down menus. The name of
the business or owner does not have to be provided but an
e-mail address will be needed so a required password can
be sent to complete the survey.
Directions are printed on the bottom of the page.
The department said that the survey would be forwarded to
chambers of commerce across the state, trade associations
and federations representing businesses statewide. Business
owners have until July 24 to fill out the survey. When the
survey results are compiled they will be displayed on the
Office of Insurance Regulation website at http://www.floir.com/.
Businesses on Anna Maria Island have complained about the
cost and lack of coverage for windstorm coverage for the
past year since the commercial carriers cut back on availability
in areas near the Gulf coast. The state mandated carrier
of last resort, Citizens Insurance Company, does not have
to provide windstorm coverage in areas unless they are within
1,000 feet of the Gulf of Mexico. Business owners who cannot
get windstorm coverage often find it impossible to get mortgages
on their businesses.
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental
in trying to increase the wind-pool zone to coverage of
the whole Island, and several state elected officials, including
State Rep. Bill Galvano, have backed measures to change
the 1,000-foot designation.