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Miss. Insurance Commissioner Threatens Legal Action Over Flood Insurance

By Paul Boger | Published 17 Sep 2013 02:17pm | comments
Mississippi's Insurance Commissioner is considering legal action against the federal government over the increase in flood insurance rates. 
 
In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act which called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program is run. Among those changes, was a dramatic increase in flood insurance premiums; that could force people to pay thousands of dollars more per year for flood insurance.
 
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney calls the rate hike draconian. That's why he, along with the Atorney General's office, is threatening to sue the federal government.
 
"I feel certain that if we do file, the Attorney General files, that we will have many other states that will enter the lawsuit with us." said Chaney. "We will have many amicus briefs that will be filed in our behalf, and we have a good shot at winning a stay." 
 
While Chaney admits that legal action won't overturn the increase in flood insurance payments, he does believe it will force a delay in the implementation of the rate hike. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves also supports taking legal action. 
 
The federal government going years and years and years without increasing the cost of flood insurance, and then coming to people and saying in the next couple months were going to increase your flood insurance by a thousand percent." said Reeves "That's unreasonable and it's irrational. 
 
However, Senator Willie Simmions says the state should be forming stronger relationships with insurance companies.
 
"Something needs to be done." said Simmons. "I'm not sure that lawsuit at this time with the federal government is going to give us the answer of relief that we need." said Simmons. "We need to work with our insurance companies, and try and figure out how we can work with them, cause that increase not to continue to go up.."
 
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington are also opposed to the rate increase, and are working to delay the hike by at least a year.
 

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