Insurance Commissioner Comes To Coast

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Getting people in homes is what they do best, but coast realtors say no matter how good the deal, it doesn't matter if people can't afford the insurance.

"Affordable housing is only affordable if you can only pay for everything. Everybody has to be involved and everybody has to work together. This is an equal opportunity problem," said Cynthia Joachim with Century 21.

The most pressing issue on the agenda is re-authorizing the National Flood Insurance Program.  It will expire at the end of the month.  Russell Riggs, a policy expert from the National Association of Realtors, said re-authorizing the program is something everyone must be committed to seeing through.

"It's going to take people yelling at their congressman. Imagine if there was no National Flood Insurance Program. No one would be able to obtain flood insurance, there would be no maps available. So as a result, all real estate transactions would essentially stop," Riggs said.

Reforms to the NFIP are also on the table, one of which is the wind coverage provision under Gene Taylor's multi-perils insurance plan. During the meeting, State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced a new proposal some insurance companies are considering.

"We're in discussions with several major companies about providing credit on your homeowners premium, as much as 50 percent, if people retrofit their homes to make them wind resistant," says Chaney.

Homeowners could see premiums drop by half if they take steps to make their home wind and hazard resistant.  The commissioner says he plans to announce participating companies in the next couple of months.