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Mississippi in Top Five in Flood Insurance Growth

From: Mississippi Insurance Department        Filed 7/18/06

Jackson-Insurance Commissioner George Dale announced today that according to data from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and FloodSmart, Mississippi now ranks as one of the top five states in the nation in flood insurance policy growth. In order, the top states are: Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. NFIP data indicates that 80% of the growth in flood insurance is attributable to these top five states.

As of the end of May there are now 65,480 flood insurance policies in force throughout the entire state. That is an increase of nearly 9,800 from the end of April. There are now 37,149 policies in force in the three coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties. That is a total increase of 15,128 from the 22,021  policies that were in force when Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005.

"I am extremely pleased that so many Mississippians understand how vital it is to have flood insurance regardless of where they live. I am particularly happy to see so many coastal residents taking action now to prepare themselves for the next storm that may threaten our coast and I would encourage those who have not yet purchased flood insurance to please make that very important choice to get flood coverage," said Dale.

County by county numbers show that there have been significant increases in flood policies in each county. In Hancock County there were 5,462 policies in force when Katrina hit, as of the end of May there are 6,755. In Harrison County there were 10,218 policies in force when Katrina hit, as of the end of May there are 15, 594. In Jackson County there were 5,913 policies in force when Katrina hit, as of the end of May there are 14,800.

Property owners throughout the state are encouraged to carefully read their homeowner policies to become better aware of coverage. Remember, flooding is NOT covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy; a separate flood insurance policy is needed. The water exclusion clause in the standard homeowner policy states that "flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind is excluded." This clause has been used in homeowner policies since the late 1960's.

For more information on flood insurance go to the Stay Alert Stay Alive Flood Insurance Awareness page on the Mississippi Insurance Department website at http://www.doi.state.ms.us/

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