State Farm to make case for rate increase

By By William F. West / community editor
Dec. 19, 2002
State Farm Insurance officials will have a chance today to explain why they may request a 42.5 percent rate increase for homeowner policies.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale has scheduled a public forum today at the Woolfolk Building in Jackson.
State Farm cites $50 million in losses last year and $111 million the last five years in Mississippi. The company blames catastrophe claims and increasing costs for labor, materials and repairs.
The Bloomington, Ill., company writes about 30 percent of the homeowner insurer market in Mississippi. Last month, the company stopped writing new homeowner policies in the state.
State Farm has not yet filed a formal rate increase request with Dale's office.
Nevertheless, Dale scheduled the public forum because of the unprecedented rate increase request and the fact that State Farm is the largest issuer of homeowner insurance in Mississippi.
Dale said his department also had two requests to speak at the forum one from the state's association of Realtors, another from the Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi.
Scott Palmer, an insurance agent in Forest, serves as president of the state's independent agents. He said his group planned to have an expert testify at the forum.

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