State Farm Begins Reevaluation of Mississippi Katrina Claims

April 13, 2007

State Farm Insurance Co. announced the details of how Mississippi policyholders can have their Katrina wind damage claims reevaluated under the agreement it reached last month with Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale.

The insurer has agreed to take another look at “slab” claims and other Katrina-related claims by policyholders with properties in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties.

Eligible policyholders will now start receiving information about participating in the process, the insurer said.

State Farm says it has already paid more than $1.2 billion to help Mississippi policyholders rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This agreement was reached in an effort to resolve any remaining questions or differences of opinion. State Farm is committing a minimum of $50 million to the process.

According to State Farm, this is how the process starts:

Approximately 35,000 State Farm policyholders in the three counties will be mailed letters from State Farm providing information about this process and how to participate. The letters will be mailed out in two phases. First to eligible policyholders with foundation-only claims (“slab” claims) will be mailed letters on April 13.

In the second phase, policyholders with other Katrina-related claims and those who had State Farm Fire and Casualty policies on August 29, 2005, and have not filed a claim will receive their letters by the end of April.

Who is eligible?
Policyholders living in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson Counties, Mississippi.

Those with foundation-only (“slab”) claims who participated in Mississippi Insurance Department mediation-regardless of whether they reached a settlement-are eligible for review.

Those currently involved in litigation with State Farm are eligible for review.

The reevaluation process does not include policies with wind exclusion, property covered by a flood policy only, those who filed suit against State Farm and already reached a settlement, and those who already reached a settlement through the Mississippi Insurance Department Mediation Program (except those with foundation-only claims).

How it works:

Those deciding to participate in the reevaluation process are required to mail back a written form to State Farm. The insurers says it will conduct a review and consider all new claim related information.

After reevaluation, State Farm may make a settlement offer based upon the new information received and guidelines agreed upon by State Farm and the Mississippi Department of Insurance. Offers will be based on losses caused by wind or wind-driven rain, and will not include losses from flood or storm surge.

Participation in this reevaluation process is completely voluntary. Until an offer is accepted, policyholders remain free to pursue all of their legal rights. Policyholders can also request participation in the Mississippi Insurance Department’s mediation process or non-binding arbitration.

After policyholders receive their letters, those with questions about the reevaluation process may call 1-866-7KATRINA (1-866-752-8746).

Source: State Farm

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