Four insurance companies are offering wind coverage in the South Mississippi market, although restrictions apply.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said he has recently approved the “surplus-lines” companies. Surplus-lines companies insure high-risk properties without state regulation of rates or any guaranty in case of insolvency.
They have been active for years in South Mississippi’s commercial market, but are now beginning to pick up homeowner customers as well.
The companies are Ironshore, Scottsdale, Republic and Foremost.
Ironshore is offering wind coverage for commercial properties built to code and FEMA elevations.
Scottsdale offers wind coverage to homeowners 2 miles or more from the Mississippi Sound.
Foremost offers wind only for mobile homes in Stone, Pearl River and George counties, a company spokesman said. Foremost policies without wind are available in all six South Mississippi counties for mobile homes and specialty dwellings. A Republic representative could not be reached to comment on its policies, and insurance agents contacted were not familiar with the company
These companies are basically betting that there will not be another Katrina-like storm for many years. They saw a chance to bolster their profits and make the investors happy. Yes, it is good news that homeowners now have an insurance outlet, but the better news is to the companies that will charge high premiums and pray for a slow and quiet hurricane season.