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Chaney wants info on Allstate's rate hike request

JACKSON — Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. has until Sept. 23 to submit documents to support its requested 44 percent rate increase in Mississippi.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney tells The Sun Herald that he will consider a “small increase” for Allstate, but not the 44 percent the company seeks.

Chaney has been reviewing Allstate’s rate request since April. The company asked for an average statewide increase of 44.4 percent several months after Chaney rejected a 65 percent hike.

Chaney tells the newspaper that his department has hired an independent actuary, who calculates statistical risks, to review Allstate’s request.

Chaney says the Louisiana Insurance Department’s actuary also has helped his agency look at Allstate’s request and does not believe the 44 percent is justified.

“We have worked very diligently, very openly and honestly with these companies, including Allstate, on these rate requests,” Chaney said. “I will not approve a 44 percent rate increase for Allstate without a court order.”

The Sun Herald also reports that Allstate has hired the Jackson law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz to work on its rate filing. Among the law firm’s employees is former Insurance Commissioner George Dale, who lost an re-election bid in 2007 when Chaney was elected. Dale is not an attorney.

Lee Harrell, an attorney who worked for Dale at the Insurance Department and is now with the law firm, said Dale is not working on Allstate’s rate filing but is part of the firm’s insurance team advising Allstate.

Harrell said Allstate needs an adequate rate in Mississippi.

“That’s what we’re working on,” Harrell said. “I don’t know of anybody who has more experience than our firm in these matters.”

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