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Statement from Tom Gallagher Regarding: Hurricane Savings Accounts

2/15/2005

COMUNÍQUESE CON:
Tami Torres o Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842
                                                    
WASHINGTON, D.C. - "Today, I met with several members of Florida's congressional delegation to promote legislation in Congress creating Hurricane Savings Accounts.  They were very receptive to providing Floridians options for preparing for the financial impact of a major storm.

"Hurricane Savings Accounts, which could also be named Catastrophe Savings Accounts for more universal usage, would encourage responsibility by saving for future adverse financial impacts associated with hurricanes or other natural disasters.

"Structured in the same manner as Health Savings Accounts and IRAs, a tax-free savings account could be opened to cover current and future hurricane-related expenses. El dinero depositado, así como el interés ganado, tendría impuestos deferidos.  Los saldos no utilizados se refinanciarían año tras año.

"The ceiling on the accounts could be twice the amount of the individual's deductible, and the money could only be withdrawn to cover qualified hurricane expenses tax-free. Los gastos condicionales incluirían: deducibles, pérdidas no aseguradas como muelles, daños por inundación y mejoras estructurales para futuras tormentas.

"More importantly, as balances accumulate tax-free, consumers would have the option to purchase higher deductible policies which would result in lower annual premiums. The savings accounts would also encourage homeowners to make structural improvements to their homes to mitigate damage from a catastrophic event."