Mississippians travel to England for best re-insurance rates - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippians travel to England for best re-insurance rates

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BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Five members of the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association are in England this week, trying to make sure the state's wind pool gets the lowest re-insurance rates possible.

Reasonable rates will help keep down premiums for wind pool policy-holders.

Hundreds of homes and buildings destroyed by Katrina are now being rebuilt under new stricter building codes and standard. Wind pool board member David Treutel says that's perhaps the most important message wind pool board members will take to the reinsurers. 

"Basically, what we want them to know, while we had some major devastation after Katrina and had over 70,000 homes that were seriously damaged or destroyed, many of those homes that were damaged or destroyed have been built back better, safer, stronger than they were before."

Right now, the wind pool insures about 46,000 homes on the coast with approximately $7 billion worth of coverage. The reinsurers would step in if another major storm strikes, and current wind pool funds are drained.

"If there is a catastrophic loss like we saw in Katrina, many of our policy holders are all putting in major claims at the same time. The re-insurers allow us to spread the risk. These are the ones that would reimburse and help cover the losses."

Truetel said getting a favorable rate is more important than ever, because the state failed to provide a $20 million subsidy this year, as it has in the past.

"Whenever you can give a reinsurer more information to remove doubt or fear, then they usually respond by giving you a better rate."

He said those better rates mean more manageable costs for property owners.

Mark Cumbest is the only wind pool board member from the coast who is in London. The group will meet with seven reinsurer groups this week before returning home this weekend. David Treutel has made the trip four times before.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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