The state bonding commission unanimously approved the first installment of $19.7 million dollars for the fund set up to solve the crumbling foundation crisis.
The legislature passed a bill last fall that sets aside $100 million over the next five years to go to the newly created captive insurance company that will distribute the funds to affected homeowners.
Starting next year, an additional $9 million more per year for ten years will go into the fund generated from a fee on homeowner’s premiums.
Michael Maglaras is the man hired to be the superintendent of the program. He says he has experience starting up nearly 200 captive insurance companies in his four decades in the business but says he’s never dealt with an issue like this.
“It’s been the most interesting project of my career and I’ve done 190 captive insurance companies,” said Maglaras. “I will tell you it’s challenging.”
Earlier this month, a board of directors for the program was named to help guide Maglaras through the process. It includes affected homeowners, lawmakers and insiders from the insurance, banking and real estate industries. Maglaras hopes the captive insurance company will be up and running by the end of the year.
“We will be operational, I think, by the end of October or beginning of November,” said Maglaras. “When I say operational, homeowners will go online and apply for help. The process will be clearly articulated and we’ll be off.
Maglaras says more money will be needed, although he can’t yet guess how many homes may be impacted. He believes once the shovels hit the ground, other industries will contribute financially and logistically, including insurance.
“The insurance industry is not our enemy here. The insurance industry is our friend,” said Maglaras. “The insurance industry holds the key in this state to collaborate with us and I want collaboration.”
Maglaras says federal help is also needed. He says he is also looking forward to re-engaging FEMA and working with HUD Secretary Ben Carson who visited an affected home in the region earlier this summer.
WEB EXTRA: Interview with Crumbling Foundations Superintendent Michael Maglaras
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