Taylor to Again Push Wind Coverage

December 28, 2007

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor says he’ll go back to Washington to push again for passage of a multiple-perils insurance bill.

Taylor, D-Miss., who represents south Mississippi in Congress, said people won’t build back on the Gulf Coast until they are able to buy insurance they can depend on.

Critics of multiple-peril insurance say such a program would be financially unsound, leading to more debt on top of the $20 billion NFIP incurred from Hurricane Katrina.

Taylor said it would be better to spread hurricane risk among coastal states rather than have individual states assume those risks. Mississippi, for example, offers wind insurance for six coastal counties. Florida and other states also have wind pools.

The rate charged for wind insurance would have to be high enough so it could remain financially viable.

“It’s not going to be a giveaway,” Taylor said, “but I still believe it will be cheaper than what the private sector is offering. If we weren’t going to be competition to them, they wouldn’t be fighting us.”

A U.S. House bill, which Taylor co-sponsored, added wind coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program. Wind coverage was not included in a bill the Senate Banking Committee approved.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has blocked a vote by the full Senate because optional wind coverage and higher coverage limits were not included.

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