Dale Sends Open Letter to Citizens of Mississippi
GCN Editor: On his last official day in office outgoing Commissioner of Insurance George Dale, who was defeated in the November elections, sends the following letter to the citizens of Mississippi:
An Open Letter to the People of Mississippi
I want to thank the people of Mississippi for the opportunity to serve as your Insurance Commissioner for 32 years. You have allowed me to serve longer than any other elected Insurance Commissioner in our nation's history. I have been elected to this office eight times and I thank you.
I am proud of my staff and what we have accomplished together, along with the public and the Mississippi Legislature. Some of the things we have accomplished include:
1. Additional funding for fire protection that led to the growth of fire stations from 400 in 1985 to over 1,140 in 2007
2. Working with the Legislature to establish the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Act that has resulted in 502 new fire trucks, resulting in rate reductions for fire insurance
3. Full accreditation of the Mississippi Insurance Department by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that recognized us as one of the leading insurance departments in the United States
4. We have shepherded the state through eight hurricanes that has resulted in billions of dollars paid to coastal residents
5. In 1998, the Mississippi Insurance Department unraveled the Martin Frankel case that, at the time, one the largest financial fraud cases in the history of the United States
6. I am most proud that we have been able to maintain a stable insurance market in a rural state that does not have the premium volume that larger states have
Even with these examples of success, there are always issues that must be completed.
The market conduct exam of State Farm Insurance must be completed and others begun of our major insurance carriers so that the mistakes made after Katrina will not be repeated in future hurricanes.
We must continue to work with other hurricane prone states to find affordable insurance for residents on the coast.
We must continue to work with Congress to find answers to the increasing costs of health care insurance.
We must continue to fund the Mississippi Insurance Department so that we can continue to have the smallest number of domestic insurance company insolvencies than any other state in the United States.
We must continue funding for statewide fire protection, to help fire insurance ratings and thereby keep insurance premiums for fire low.
For 32 years I have served the people of Mississippi as your Insurance Commissioner. It has not always been a smooth ride, at times we have strongly agreed with one another and at others we have strongly disagreed. As my time as Insurance Commissioner ends I want you to remember one thing above all else. My loyalty and efforts have always been in the best interests of the people of this great state. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your Insurance Commissioner. Whatever the future may bring for us all, I wish you all well.