WASHINGTON (WLOX) - Congressman Gene Taylor hopes legislation he introduced on Monday will solve the insurance crisis facing many South Mississippians.
"Apparently, the insurance industry no longer wants to cover people for wind damage in coastal America or will not provide that coverage at a cost that is reasonable," Rep. Taylor (D-MS) stated. "Throughout coastal America, property insurance companies have dramatically increased premiums on existing policies, canceled existing policies, or have stopped writing new policies altogether for our nation's home and business owners. The Multiple Peril Insurance Act will solve this problem. It will also stimulate the economy throughout coastal America, particularly here in the Katrina area of the nation."
Taylor's proposal amends the National Flood Insurance Program to permit homeowners the option of purchasing both wind and flood coverage in one policy. With bipartisan support in 2007, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Taylor's bill by a vote of 263-146. This provision had the strong support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, and Housing Subcommittee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.
As Taylor points out, the homeowner insurance crisis is beyond the states that Katrina directly impacted and is most urgent among throughout the Gulf and Atlantic regions of the nation. The crisis extends from the Gulf Coast state of Texas to Florida to the Atlantic Coast including New Jersey, and New York.
"As we found out after Katrina and our fellow Texans are finding out now after Ike and Gustav," Rep. Taylor continued, "short of home and business owners hiring lawyers and engineers to take their carriers to court, insurance companies routinely and deliberately fail to pay on legitimate hurricane-related wind claims. No one should have to go through this. It isn't fair to American homeowners, and it must end."