LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Affordable Wind Insurance Coalition is pushing a bill that could ultimately lower insurance rates across the Gulf Coast.
Thursday night, dozens of concerned residents attended an open forum in Long Beach that was led by state legislators and public officials. Organizers were trying to explain why shining a light on insurance rates could be good for the coast.
Marcia Kruse is a member of the organization and a resident of the coast, who's pushing the Clarity Bill to next year's legislative session.
"We are the people that started this. We need the people to come out and say 'enough is enough.' We want justified insurance rates," Kruse said.
Kruse says home and business owners continue to be grossly overcharged for insurance and the Clarity Bill will require insurance companies to report both premiums and claims that are paid according to zip code.
"It was business men, it was property owners who were concerned about the high rise in the wind insurance and how it was affecting us our families, our church and our coastal areas," Kruse said.
For months, Kruse has worked closely with Michelle Kurtz who successfully got the Clarity Bill passed in Alabama back in 2012.
"We knew we couldn't force private companies to do stuff, but we wanted the lights turned on. How do we deserve these higher rates? And when the clarity law got passed, then we had numbers, we had facts," Kurtz said.
Kurtz says the bill is meant to allow people to compare coast insurance rates with the rest of the state. She explained a home here on the coast that may cost you about $3,500 for insurance, would only cost about $800 a year in other parts of the state.
Getting access to those numbers with the Clarity Bill, will allow state legislators to take the necessary steps to getting those insurance rates lowered.
"I think information is power and if they can get information on rates and claims, they may can provide some solutions. You know, you can't solve problems until you have the data," Jim Simpson said.
The next step for the organization is to travel to Jackson to meet with the commissioner of insurance and later with Governor Bryant.