The Mississippi Senate has sent the governor a bill to put $25 million into a fund that assists the state wind pool. The wind pool is the insurer of last resort for those who need wind coverage in high-risk areas where no private insurer will write policies.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has said rates increased 90 percent for homeowners and 162 percent for businesses after Hurricane Katrina's storm surge devastated the region. Chaney said the transfer will drop rates about 11 percent. Rates would increase by 30 percent if the bill is not signed by Gov. Haley Barbour.
But a Barbour spokesman said Friday the governor will sign the bill in time to meet the March 17 deadline.
Some insurance companies stopped writing new policies after Hurricane Katrina. That led to a spike in the number insured by the wind pool, which is funded by assessing all insurance companies that provide property coverage in the state.
The wind pool has about 36,000 policies. Most of them are homeowners in six south Mississippi counties of Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George. When Katrina the storm hit, the wind pool only had 16,000 policies.