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Safeco to offer wind coverage to homeowners

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says Safeco Insurance plans to offer homeowners insurance, including wind coverage, in south Mississippi.

Chaney says the company will offer 500 to 1,000 homeowner policies wind coverage beginning in mid-March.

Some companies have restricted wind coverage, stopped offering it altogether to new customers and/or nonrenewed policyholders who live near shore.

Chaney believes Safeco also will offer discounts in the near future to policyholders who strengthen their homes to minimize hurricane damage.

Chaney says one other large insurer, Republic Insurance Group, is writing new homeowner policies with wind coverage on the coast, as are some smaller companies.

Since Hurricane Katrina, many policyholders have been forced into the state-run wind pool. The wind pool maintains rates higher than the private market.

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