Homeowners React To News From Mississippi Insurance Commissioner

Insurance Commissioner George Dale announced Monday that State Farm will reopen as many as 35,000 homeowner and commercial claims in the three coastal counties. As part of this deal, State Farm has committed to pay out at least $50 million.

The news of re-opening the State Farm claims has some Mississippi homeowners speaking out.

Dorothea Barker has spent months waiting for the insurance battles to come to an end. She says she has heard enough promises about State Farm, and hopes that Monday's decision brings the closure she's been waiting for.

"It's been an ongoing fight, and you live with this everyday," says Barker.

Nineteen months later and the single mother is still waiting.

"You're thinking who can you trust? If something else like this happens: Why do you have insurance? What is insurance good for?"

Barker is still a State Farm customer who says she's had her fair share of news headlines about the company. Now, all she wants to hear about is what's rightfully her's.

"When you are hearing other people in the same situation and you are hearing their reports, you identify with them. You say, 'They told me the same thing. State Farm told me the same thing,'" says Barker.

Seven feet of water filled Barker's eight foot D'Iberville home. While Barker says she had hurricane insurance, she says State Farm told her that wasn't enough. She needed separate flood insurance.

Several church groups have helped the Barker family move back into their home. Now that Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale is stepping in to make sure State Farm re-evaluates claims like Barker's, she says now there is hope.

"There are so many pieces I'm missing, but finally there is a little bit of light where you have hope. Where you say something needs to be done because there are so many of us who haven't been treated right," says Barker.

A spokesman with State Farm released a statement Monday saying, "Unnecessary court battles and political rhetoric in the difficult post-Katrina environment serve no one's interest. Now is the time to resolve these issues and we believe this expedited process will put dollars into the people's hands more quickly and advance the rebuilding of the Gulf."