Mobile County, Ala. Legislators Write Letter Requesting One-Year Premium Freeze

March 11, 2005

A one-year moratorium on homeowners insurance policy changes has been requested in a letter signed by 13 members of the Moible, Ala. county legislative delegation.

“Even though we understand the costs associated with Hurricane Ivan put financial strain on the industry, we believe it is wrong to make major changes in coverage to residents of Mobile County without first exhausting all other efforts,” the letter says.

Sen. Gary Tanner, D-Theodore, told the Mobile Register that the letter was addressed to executives at Alfa Insurance Co., AllState and State Farm, requesting them to freeze policy prices in the county.

The letter was also signed by Senators Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile; Pat Lindsey, D-Butler, and Hap Myers, R-Mobile; GOP Reps. Jim Barton and Victor Gaston of Mobile, Spencer Collier of Irvington, Rusty Glover of Semmes and Randy Davis of Daphne; and Democratic Reps. James Buskey, Yvonne Kennedy and Joseph Mitchell of Mobile and Bill Clark of Prichard. Only one county lawmaker, Rep. Jamie Ison, R-Mobile, did not sign the letter. He was not available to comment to the Register.

Lawmakers signing the document pledged to work with the insurance industry on any needed legislation. Tanner said he also delivered a copy to Gov. Bob Riley asking for his support.

Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell announced Wednesday that he is forming a task force to find the best way to provide insurance in coastal Alabama. Tanner, who is on Bell’s task force, said Thursday that he is also interested in forming a legislative task force.

Earlier this week, Alfa confirmed reports that it will cease covering wind damage for about 2,300 homes in Mobile and Baldwin counties. It did not indicate what areas will be affected.

Affected homeowners will probably have to turn to the Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association, known as the “beach pool,” for coverage.

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