Mississippi School Districts’ Property Insurance Premiums Spike

July 30, 2013

Property insurance premiums have skyrocketed for Pine Belt school districts in Mississippi. Some have had problems just finding a company to insure them.

John Wells, with the state Commissioner of Insurance’s office, says many districts statewide have complained about property insurance rate hikes.

Lamar County School District Superintendent Ben Burnett tells the Hattiesburg American that his district’s premium was about $176,000 last year but just increased by $500,000.

Johnny Downs, who takes care of the district’s insurance, says it had $4 million in claims from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and $7 million in claims from the Feb. 10 tornado. He says that in addition, insurance companies are now rating areas according to the amount of wind damage that could be sustained in a storm.

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