High insurance costs still hamper hurricane preparedness - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

High insurance costs still hamper hurricane preparedness

Posted: Updated:
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Catherine Weber lives in a modest home in Ocean Springs. She enjoys the cool mornings on her porch swing. She doesn't enjoy her insurance bill that has tripled in five years, forcing a change in lifestyle. 

"We've not been able to go home, home being Texas, as often as we'd like to," Weber explained.  "We do go to Africa to do mission work. But other than that, we don't do vacations or any of that kind of stuff because it's just not in the budget."

How bad is it?  Tom Reynolds is an independent insurance agent. 

"Prior to Katrina, I could write you a nice policy on a nice home with low deductibles for around $1,200," Reynolds said.  "The same policy today would  with higher deductibles cost $5,000."

High insurance rates can be a deal breaker.  Royce Cumbest is the president of Merchants and Marine Bank.  

"We had a hotel in town that had already been approved, they were moving to closing and about a week or two weeks before closing, they got the insurance costs, and they backed away," Cumbest recalled. 

It's gotten better, but not by much. Potential home buyers are still faced with insurance sticker shock.  

"The biggest problem we have is the increase of 200-300 percent in rates since Katrina. In some cases, the taxes and insurance on a property are more than the principal and interest,"  explained Realtor Chester Harvey.  

While the affordability and availability of homeowners insurance has somewhat stabilized in the past couple of years here on the coast, another form of insurance that thousands of Mississippians have, flood insurance, is going to be going up significantly and quite honestly, painfully, according to Cumbest.  

"Couple in the cost of the flood program with the already high windstorm rates and it's pretty much a crushing blow for the Gulf Coast." 

The largest increase in flood insurance premiums will be for those who have homes in the highest risk velocity zones, followed by smaller increases the further you are from the shoreline.

Meanwhile, more smaller companies are writing homeowners policies with wind, but you may have to go through an independent agent to get that coverage.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:31:26 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:44:17 GMT
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.