Fairfield Legislators, Residents Convince State Insurance Department to Reject Insurers’ Requirement for Costly Storm Shutters

December 7, 2006

HARTFORD, CT — Citing mounting complaints and “the frustration and anger from homeowners” the State Insurance Department announced Tuesday it will reverse a June decision that would have required residents living within ¾ of a mile of Long Island Sound to install storm shutters at an estimated cost of $50,000 to $100,000 per home as a condition of their homeowner policy renewal.

The long awaited reversal was applauded today by Senator John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and Representative Tom Drew (D-Fairfield) who together led a wave of local opposition to the department’s earlier decision.

“Fairfield legislators and residents exposed the storm shutter requirement for what it was – an excessive and unfair imposition put on thousands of Connecticut homeowners,” said Senator McKinney. “Though long overdue, we are pleased by the Department’s reversal.”

“I am very thankful and pleased this hurricane shutter requirement was rescinded. This was an extremely ill advised ruling which would have resulted in economic and other havoc. We will now have an opportunity to review these issues in a more deliberative legislative process to the extent it is necessary. I thank all those who also opposed this ruling,” said Representative Drew.

New guidelines issued Tuesday by the State Insurance Department ban the shutter requirement and prohibit insurance companies from terminating coverage when customers fail to take certain steps to protect their homes from storm damage.

Regarding the Department’s new coastal underwriting guidelines, Senator McKinney commented, “Although today is a victory for all shoreline residents, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect citizens from further outrageous increases in insurance premiums.”

Click here to read the Insurance Department’s press release regarding new guidelines covering insurance for coastal homeowners: http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=1269&q=328940