House bill adds $20 million to wind pool

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi House on Tuesday added $20 million to the state wind pool.

Pascagoula Representative Brandon Jones, who co-sponsored the bill, said the money could bring a decrease in wind pool rates. He called it a "shot in the arm for homeowners and businesses still struggling to deal with rising insurance costs."

The wind pool, formally known as the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, was established by the legislature in 1987 to provide an adequate market for windstorm and hail insurance in the coastal areas of Mississippi.

Since Hurricane Katrina, several private insurance companies have cut or stopped writing wind insurance on the coast. That leaves the wind pool as the only insurance option for many residents.

Rep. Jones said he hopes House Bill 1697 will bolster recovery in South Mississippi.

"I want to thank my friends in the House for recognizing this incredible need. I look forward to a day when this investment is repaid by the full recovery of the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Jones said.

The wind pool bill now goes to the Senate.