George Dale Responds To State Farm Announcement

Commissioner of Insurance George Dale released a statement on Wednesday in response to the announcement from State Farm Insurance that they will no longer write any new business in the state of Mississippi effective February 16, 2007.

Dale says, "I regret that State Farm has chosen to make this decision at a time in the state's Hurricane Katrina recovery process when it is becoming more vital than ever, that policyholders in Mississippi have a viable and affordable insurance market. As I have said over and over again, rebuilding on the coast cannot continue without it. This has been a concern of mine since the day Katrina made landfall. This decision just makes our job more difficult. My office will continue to do everything in our power to encourage all insurance companies, State Farm included, to continue providing an affordable product to our citizens. State Farm's decision is a stark reminder that the issues brought about by Hurricane Katrina affect not only the coast, but policyholders all across the state. This decision will not affect the market conduct examination of State Farm this office is currently conducting. It is my hope that by continuing to work with State Farm, they will at some time in the future reverse this decision. State Farm's actions clearly illustrate the importance of passing the Wind Pool legislation I sent to the legislature in order to help stabilize a volatile insurance market and prevent other companies from making similar decisions."

WLOX will have more on this story on WLOX News at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.