What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barbour sides with Taylor's insurance bill

Posted on Sun Herald Wed, Jul. 18, 2007

Gov. Haley Barbour, who has stayed out of the legal fray over Hurricane Katrina insurance coverage, has weighed in on the Multiple Perils Insurance Act sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor.

Barbour sent a letter of support to the House subcommittee that held a hearing Tuesday on the bill.

"Hurricane Katrina demonstrated holes in the private insurance market and the National Flood Insurance Program," Barbour's letter said, "and I support Congress considering legislation which would create a new program in the National Flood Insurance Program to enable the purchase of wind and flood risk in one policy."

Barbour said the Coast's recovery has been hampered because wind coverage is scarce on the private market and costly to buy from the state wind pool.

The American Insurance Association questions the cost, which might be shifted to taxpayers if the flood program is expanded to include wind. Artificially low rates for flood insurance have helped mire the program in debt.

Taylor said NFIP must charge financially sound rates if wind coverage is made available.

Barbour said the state wind pool, insurer of last resort for the six Coast counties, has grown from 16,000 policies before Katrina to 40,000 today, proving wind coverage is difficult to find. The state has pumped money into the wind pool, but premiums have still increased sharply for homeowners and businesses.
Barbour's letter said, "action is needed at the federal level to ensure the long-term stability of our insurance market."

Read Barbour letter of support here.
Original Sun Herald article here.

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