Dale Announces Plans Regarding Windpool Rate Increase
From: State Insurance Commission
Filed 4/28/06 GCN
Jackson -Commissioner of Insurance George Dale announced today that his
office has received a rate increase filing from the Mississippi Windstorm
Underwriting Association (MWUA). He will give careful deliberation to the
request for a rate increase of 397.8% for private dwellings insured for
wind and hail damage, a 268% rate increase for commercial property, and
60.4% for mobile homes.
"This is going to be one of the most difficult decisions I have been
required to make during my tenure as Insurance Commissioner. It is very
important that I act in the best interest of all Mississippi
policyholders. I have to consider granting an increase to maintain the
Windpool's stability, while also assuring there is a viable market that
does not adversely affect citizens statewide," Dale said.
Dale stated that he and his staff are examining the request with all due
diligence. He will also be seeking public input through a public hearing
at a date to be announced soon. This filing is available on the MID
website at www.doi.state.ms.us.
"The MWUA only writes wind insurance in the bottom six counties in
Mississippi. These are normally risks that insurance companies will not
insure due to the wind exposure. The MWUA has already paid over $600
million in claims to their policyholders. As a result of these claims MWUA
has had to assess over $525 million to all other insurance companies
operating in Mississippi, even those that did not write any policies in
the coastal areas. These assessments will ultimately be passed on to these
companies' policyholders, even those insureds that don't live on the
coast," said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lee Harrell.
Harrell also said that the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) and MWUA
are continuing to pursue other avenues and sources of funds to possibly
offset these increases.
The Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association was established by the
Mississippi Legislature for the purpose of providing wind and hail
insurance policies for high risk properties in the six Mississippi Coastal
Counties that private insurers will not insure for wind and hail coverage.
Each insurance company that is authorized to issue property policies in
the state is required to be a member of the Association.