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Miss. Legislature OKs wind pool measure


JACKSON, Miss.--A Mississippi bill that would reform the state's wind pool has received final legislative approval.

If signed into law by the governor, the bill will allow property insurers to recoup wind pool assessments through a surcharge on property insurance policyholders. Under the measure, insurers can be assessed up to 10% of their total statewide property premiums to support the pool, which provides coverage in six coastal counties. The measure also allows the state to issue bonds if the assessments are not sufficient to pay claims.

The head of the American Insurance Assn.'s Southeast Region office in Atlanta praised the vote.

"This is important legislation for Mississippi and for insurers," Cecil Pearce, AIA vice president, Southeast Region said in a statement issued upon the final legislative action. AIA noted in the statement that current Mississippi law requires private insurers to make up any deficit if the wind pool doesn't have enough money to pay claims.