State Farm policy holders on the coast were probably shocked over the weekend when they heard the news that their homeowners premium could go up by 45 percent. In our current economic climate it is hard to imagine any product or service going up by that amount.
State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says he will not approve the 45 percent hike, but, he will hold hearings on the proposed increase in South Mississippi. If you talk to the leaders of the communities along the coast, they will readily tell you that the lack of affordable insurance is the key to keeping some sections of the coast from making a full recovery. No doubt if such a rate increase is approved, it would only slow the future progress we will have here on the coast.
We encourage the top leaders of State Farm to examine the plight of our area first hand and then really question whether such a rate increase is needed. Thousands of South Mississippi residents have been State Farm customers for years and they would like to continue. Our local state farm agents are in the same boat as we are, and really only the messenger in this rate hike.
Top State Farm leaders need to make the trip from Illinois to the coast and not just send in the government relations or public relations pros. We would hope State Farm Insurance Company's top leaders would come to these hearings and learn the plight of coast residents.
WLOX-TV VP/General Manager