Solving South Mississippi's insurance concerns is arguably one of the most important issues facing our area. On Friday, three candidates for the state legislature offered their insurance solutions if voters send them to the state capitol. All say Mississippi is not getting a fair deal from insurance companies but differ on how they would remedy the situation.
State senator Deborah Dawkins says with so many small businesses and homeowners struggling to rebuild, it's obvious state legislators didn't do enough to make the wind pool affordable.
"We weren't able to pull off everything that was needed obviously because we have so many people crying for insurance reform,"said Dawkins.
Dawkins who represents District 48 and is seeking re-election called for that "Fair Deal" reform along with fellow Democrats Ed Hatem and David Baria in Pass Christian on Friday.
"The wind pool for many years was a special fund," Dawkins said." If there was any profit, which there was, the legislature took that money from the special fund and used it to make other appropriations. I propose that we redirect all the profits from the wind pool back to reinvestment in the wind pool."
Senate hopeful David Baria's strategy includes an insurance bill of rights, rate reductions for building to code, and a tough stance with companies which scale back coverage.
Baria said "I'm a proponent of requiring companies that write automobile and life and other lines of coverage that tell us they're not going to write homeowners, well we tell them well we want you to write homeowners or you can take all of your marbles and go somewhere else. "
Ed Hatem is seeking House seat 120. He says redirecting funds is a temporary fix. "I believe for right now we need to take some of the money from the oil and gas leases, put that money in the wind pool to bring our costs even further down to spur some rebuilding of small business, our working families."
The three say they've proven they can work as a team and they want to do it in Jackson. The candidates say they've already shared their ideas with Gary Anderson, the Democrat running for insurance commissioner.