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Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

Mississippi House Passes Insurance Disclosure Bill

Mississippi lawmakers could require insurers to disclose how much they collect in premiums and how much they pay in claims in each ZIP code, under House Bill 753. The bill could spark more debate over how much coastal homeowners are charged to cover against hurricanes, as well as make it clearer what areas private wind insurers are avoiding. The House Insurance Committee passed that bill, as well as House Bill 756, which would regulate when insurers can charge homeowners a hurricane deductible. Both go to the full House for more debate. The disclosure measure, called the Clarity Act by its supporters, is modeled after a similar law that was passed in Alabama. There, an initial round of disclosure has shown coastal homeowners have paid far more in premiums than they got back in claims in recent years. “Our suspicions were that we were being overcharged on the coast and we got very clear confirmation of that,” said Stan Virden, a Gulf Shores, AL, man who is active in a group called the Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative.

Many of those homeowners end up buying policies from the state-sponsored Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.

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