Commissioner Dale Doubts Florida-Like Law is Answer in Mississippi

February 20, 2007

Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance George Dale said he welcomes any solutions to ensure all Mississippians have available a stable, affordable and viable insurance market.

But Dale appeared to distance himself from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood who, after State Farm announced it would stop writing new home and business policies in the state, called the insurer a “robber baron” and recommended that the state adopt a law similar to one in Florida to keep insurers from leaving the state.

“We must proceed cautiously and carefully to make sure whatever actions we take do not jeopardize our already fragile insurance market,” Dale said. “I am not sure if we want to pattern our actions after our friends in Florida. We are seeing companies leave Florida and rate increases that supposedly are up to 1,100 percent in many areas of that state.”

Dale added, “Florida put approximately $700 million of taxpayer money into their insurance problem. Plus, it is my understanding that they also issued $2 billion in state backed bonds.”

Dale, who is running for reelection, said he will meet with Gov. Haley Barbour to discuss the issue and possible actions.

“Again, I want to emphasize that we need to proceed carefully to ensure that we don’t make matters worse for all Mississippians.”

Source: Mississippi Insurance Department

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