Chaney Says Affordable Insurance Is On The Way - - The News for South Mississippi

Chaney Says Affordable Insurance Is On The Way

When Katrina hit, 16,000 Mississippi homeowners had insurance through the state windpool. That number has more than doubled, with 36,000 Mississippians now in the windpool.

Mike Chaney took over as Insurance Commissioner in early January. He believes some people will be able to leave the windpool soon because a number of insurance companies plan to lower their rates in Mississippi.

"We've been very proactive in recruiting other companies, making companies toe the line on rate increases. We're taking a long, hard look at what they've asked us to approve. So far, we haven't approved a lot. We've approved some decreases, a very significant decrease of 20 percent in the upper third counties. I will announce some decreases very shortly that will be above ten percent for some wind, but I'm not at liberty to tell you the exact, but that's going to be very good news," Chaney said.

George Schloegel, Chairman of Hancock Bank, says he and many others are rallying for support on the federal level. He believes the multi peril bill, introduced by Congressman Gene Taylor, would help greatly with recovery and rebuilding efforts.

"Gene Taylor's bill is a great bill. We need to be able to get multi peril coverage. What I'm saying about that is when somebody buys insurance, they don't need to come after the fact saying was it wind or was it water? We need to know regardless of what it was, wind, water, fire, or snow, it's covered. When we do that, it becomes a legal issue instead of a business issue," Schloegel said.

Congressman Taylor's multi peril bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, but many believe it faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has set up an office in Gulfport. You can reach his office by calling 1-800-562-2957.

By Toni Miles

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