September 16, 2005

Mississippi AG's Complaint Seeking to Void Standard Flood Exclusions

As reported in the Washington Post (Mississippi Sues Insurers Over Flooding Exclusions) and by the Risk Prof blog (RiskProf : Well, It Has Happened!), the Attorney General of Mississippi has sued the state's insurers, alleging that standard flood exclusions in homeowners policies approved by the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner are "void and unenforceable" and seeking an injunction against their enforcement. Attorney General Jim Hood's Press Release.

The causes of action include counts alleging that the standard flood exlusions:
... contravene Mississippi law concerning proximate causation and policyholders' reasonable expectations,
... are too hard to understand and unconscionable, having "no reasonable relationship to the risks and needs of the business of the Defendants",
... are ambiguous and must be construed against the insurers and
... constitute an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

A copy of the A.G.'s Complaint and Motion for TRO is HERE (PDF).

The Insurance Commissioner of the State of Mississippi, George Dale, in his "Insurance Consumer's Hurricane Checklist" on the DOI's website, says:
Check your policy’s coverages. Remember that homeowners’ policies do not cover flood damage caused by rising water. Check the special maps kept by your county that show flood plains. If you live in a flood-prone area, contact your agent about obtaining flood insurance, which is written by the National Flood Insurance Program. Do not procrastinate; there is a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect."

Posted by dougsimpson at September 16, 2005 03:12 PM