Money would help stabilize insurance costs

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says adding $19 million to the state-run insurer of last resort should help stabilize costs.

The so-called wind pool helps provide coverage for homeowners in high-risk areas where private insurers balk at writing policies. Chaney says the state Insurance Department is constantly looking for ways to bring down premium rates along the Gulf Coast and that this additional funding should, at least, help stabilize rates pool policyholders pay.

Rep. Brandon Jones said private insurance companies aren’t competing for business on the coast, but must. The Pascagoula Democrat says subsidies are being used to hold down wind pool costs.

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After Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the coast in 2005, the number of pool policyholders rose from about 16,000 to about 42,000.