Numbers From The State's Insurance Commissioner Could Get Money Into The Windpool - - The News for South Mississippi

Numbers From The State's Insurance Commissioner Could Get Money Into The Windpool

No matter where the money comes from, state lawmakers say money needs to get in the windpool a lot sooner than later.

"If we can get federal money fine, if we cannot, we have to use state money. That's what it boils down to, " says Rep. Roger Ishee, Gulfport.

And lawmakers like representative Roger Ishee say passing legislation that would pour some $30 million into the windpool is not only about fixing the insurance crisis but about economic development. Adding the money to the windpool could lower insurance rates for businesses that have increased by 268 percent to a 100 percent increase. That's according to the Gulf Coast Business Council.

"We have to come up with this so we can get our business built back or new businesses so they can get reasonable priced insurance," says Rep. Roger Ishee, Gulfport.  

Lawmakers heading to Jackson for session on Monday say they're ready to move quickly, but need to get a few figures straight before moving forward.

"We really need the insurance commissioner to come back and tell us how much it's going to lower the premiums and what's going to be the outcome of putting this money in," says Rep. Frances Fredericks, Gulfport.

Lawmakers should have that answer within the coming week. Senator Billy Hewes told state insurance commissioner George Dale during a joint House and Senate Insurance committee meeting he wanted numbers within the week.

"We've waited long enough we have to have those numbers. The people on the coast have to have that so reassurance that their rates will truly be affordable and they can start to rebuild their homes, their business, and ultimately their lives," says Brian Sanderson, Gulf Coast Business Council President.

The Gulf Coast Business Council has also played an active role in presenting a list of proposals geared at long term recovery including: allowing "recoupment" or insurance companies to recover loses for three to five years by adding on premiums statewide, provided they stay in state and write standard policies to the six southern counties.  Their proposals also include operating the windpool like a business where the windpool could reinvest any surplus instead of handing it out to member insurers.

In the meantime, the council along with lawmakers say the commissioner's numbers could play a big part in getting state money moving faster.

By: Krystal Allan

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