McKinney, State Senate Vote to Ban Storm Shutter Requirement

May 17, 2007

Bill heads to Governor Rell’s desk to be signed into law

Hartford, CT – The State Senate Wednesday passed a bill to prohibit insurers from requiring homeowners to install expensive hurricane shutters as a condition of their policy renewals. Senate Minority Leader Pro Tem John McKinney (R-Fairfield), who has helped lead efforts to ban the requirement, voted for the bill, H.B. 7300, which instead provides premium discounts to homeowners who voluntarily install storm shutters or shatter resistant glass.

“Shoreline residents throughout Connecticut will benefit from this legislation,” said Senator McKinney. “Inland homeowners will be spared the burden of installing unnecessary storm shutters which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and waterfront homeowners who take added precautions to protect their homes will be rewarded with lower premiums.”

In June 2006, the State Insurance Department allowed an insurer to refuse coverage to policyholders living within ¾ of a mile of Long Island Sound, unless the homeowners paid for and installed hurricane shutters. The decision was met with widespread opposition from shoreline residents and legislators, including Senator McKinney, ultimately leading the Insurance Commissioner to reverse the Department’s decision in December.

H.B. 7300, which passed the Senate by a vote of 33-0, was drafted to prevent future efforts to allow the storm shutter requirement, while providing incentives to encourage waterfront homeowners to better protect their properties.

“This bill is a much more measured, more appropriate solution to help mitigate potentially catastrophic losses that can result from severe storms and hurricanes,” said McKinney.