Last week a report came out that said the average homeowner in America pays about $800 a year for homeowners insurance. But in South Mississippi, insurance agents tell us the average person pays much more, at least $3,000 for the same coverage. No doubt this is a hindrance for many Katrina victims who still need to rebuild.
And now there is more bad news. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety gave Mississippi only a four out of a possible one hundred score. We were the only state out of 17 that had a score in single digits. Alabama and Texas scored just 18 but our neighboring state of Louisiana scored a 73.
The report said after Katrina, Louisiana passed state legislation requiring mandatory code adoption and enforcement. However the report found in Mississippi there is virtually no regulatory process in place for building codes. South Mississippi's seven counties are required to enforce the wind and flood requirements of the 2003 International Residential Code. Otherwise, there is no statewide code.
State lawmakers can scoff at the report and say it really doesn't matter or they can get serious and adopt building codes and provisions that will help bring us in closer compliance with other surrounding states. If they don't, our high insurance rates will never go down.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager