Dale Announces MID Homeowner Insurance Policyholder Bill of
From: Office of the State Insurance Commissioner
Filed 1/4/07 GCN
Jackson -Commissioner of Insurance George Dale today announced that the
Mississippi Insurance Department
(MID) has filed a new proposed regulation with the Secretary of State's
Office that outlines, in detail, a homeowner insurance policyholder bill
of rights. Two major components of the regulation are the bill of rights
and the requirement that all property and casualty insurers writing
homeowners personal lines residential insurance property coverage provide
an outline of coverage for homeowners insurance policies, including
renters/tenants insurance and mobile home/manufactured housing property
coverage. Insurance companies will be required to provide an outline of
coverage that will help policyholders better understand the principal
benefits and coverage provided in their policy.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005,
and caused massive destruction within the State, the MID found that many
policyholders who filed property loss claims were inadequately insured or
did not fully understand the insurance they had purchased.
"This important new regulation will give the MID a powerful new tool in
assisting consumers in this state. With it, we can help resolve many of
the problems brought to light by the sheer scope and enormity of Hurricane
Katrina in regard to citizens understanding their homeowner's insurance
policy. I am confident this proposed regulation will prove beneficial to
Mississippi policyholders," said Dale.
The regulation shall apply to all insurance companies, including surplus
lines companies, the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, and
the Mississippi Residential Property Insurance Underwriting Association,
writing homeowners personal lines residential property coverage insurance
policies in the State of Mississippi.
A public hearing on the proposed regulation, which will be held before the
regulation is adopted, is scheduled for January 26, 2007. The public is
invited to attend and can also submit written comments on the proposed
regulation. The proposed regulation can be found on the Mississippi
Insurance Department website at
Policyholder Bill of Rights
The rights set forth below shall serve as standards to be followed by the
Mississippi Department of Insurance in exercising the Department's power
and duties, in exercising administrative discretion, in dispensing
administrative interpretations of the law, and in adopting rules. These
rights include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Policyholders shall have the right to competitive pricing practices and
marketing methods that enable them to determine the best value among
2. Policyholders shall have the right to insurance advertising and other
selling approaches that provide accurate and balanced information on the
benefits and limitations of a policy.
3. Policyholders shall have the right to an insurance company that is
4. Policyholders shall have the right to be serviced by a competent,
honest insurance producer.
5. Policyholders shall have the right to a readable policy.
6. Policyholders shall have the right to an insurance company that
provides an economic delivery of coverage and that tries to prevent
7. Policyholders shall have the right to a balanced and positive
regulation by the Mississippi Department of Insurance.
8. Policyholders shall have the right to request the license status of an
insurance company or producer.
9. Policyholders shall have the right to receive in writing from their
insurance company the reason for any denial or non-renewal of coverage.
The written statement from the insurance company must provide an adequate
explanation for the denial or non-renewal of coverage.
10. Policyholders shall have the right to cancel their policy and receive
a refund of any unearned premium. If a policy was funded by a premium
finance company, the unearned premium will be returned to the premium
finance company to pay towards the policyholder's financing loan.
11. Policyholders shall have the right to a written notification detailing
any change in coverage at renewal.
12. Policyholders shall have the right to receive a written explanation of
why a claim is denied in whole or in part.
13. Policyholders shall have the right to request and receive from the
insurance company any adjuster's reports, engineer reports, contractor
reports, statements or documents which are not privileged documents that
the insurance company prepared, had prepared, or used during its
adjustment of the policyholder's claim.
14. Policyholders shall have the right to file a written complaint against
any insurance company or insurance producer with the Mississippi
Department of Insurance, and to have that complaint investigated by the
Mississippi Department of Insurance