Aug. 08--Insurance rates for the state wind pool are set to increase Dec. 1 on renewals and new policies.
A Mississippi Insurance Department filing shows owners of homes and mobile homes will see hikes of 3.2 percent, and commercial policies will go up 5 percent.
This is the first increase since post-Katrina rate hikes in 2006, wind pool Director Joe Shumaker said.
The wind pool is wind insurer of last resort for Mississippi's six southernmost counties. Before Katrina, the wind pool consisted of 16,000 to 17,000 policies. As private insurers dropped wind coverage along the Coast, wind pool policies climbed to about 46,000.
Shumaker said the number of policies declined in 2012 to about 44,000.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said, in approving the wind pool increase, he was conscious of the fact that Coast residents already face hikes in flood insurance costs. Those increases have already begun on policies covering businesses and second homes.
Chaney wants the wind pool to more clearly spell out options for reducing premiums through higher deductibles. He also said fortifying structures against hurricane damage can lead to premium reductions of 30 percent in the private market and up to 50 percent in the wind pool.
Chaney said the Insurance Department is conducting an examination of wind pool management and financing. He expects the review -- the first in about 10 years -- to be finished in October.
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