Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush is seriously consideringcalling a special session of the legislature to deal with thestate's insurance crisis, his office confirmed yesterday.

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Anthony DeLuise, spokesman for the Republican governor, said hewould only call such a session if lawmakers could reach someconsensus on solutions to the capacity crunch.

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Republican Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings currently chairs a commissionlooking at a variety of proposals to deal with the shortage andhigh price of coverage.

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The panel is holding a session in Orlando Thursday at whichreinsurance executives will look at a number of methods ofexpanding reinsurance capacity. Primary carrier and agentrepresentatives will also take part.

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Sam Miller, executive director of the Florida Insurance Council,said speculation about such a special session has been fairlystrong for weeks now and he feels it could be a good venue forproviding insurance solutions.

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Earlier this month, the state established a Joint UnderwritingAuthority to provide windstorm coverage for small commercialoperations.

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One of the proposals the Jennings Commission is looking intocenters on expanding the current $250 million mitigation programthat provides on-site inspections and matching grants to retrofithomes to make them withstand storms better.

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A second option would strengthen the law requiring carriers togive premium incentives to policyholders who fortify their homesaccording to prescribed requirements.

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And finally, the panel is studying adopting a uniform gradingsystem for determining the ability of homes to withstand storms andmaking that information available to buyers at the time ofsale.

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