State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. has clarified the areas along Mississippi’s three southern most counties where it will not new property insurance policies.
The company had announcement the change last Wednesday. On Thursday, state insurance officials provided more details on geographic area affected.
In assessing its risk from Hurricane Katrina, which cost the company more than $1 billion, State Farm has decided new property-insurance policies will no longer be offered on Biloxi’s peninsula, within 2,500 feet of Back Bay or the Bay of St. Louis, or within one mile of the Gulf or Mississippi Sound in the three coastal counties of Jackson, Harrison and Hancock, said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lee Harrell.
The company has not decided whether existing business in these areas will be renewed, he said.
“If you’re an existing State Farm policyholder, this decision has no impact on you,” said Harrell. “We’re hoping they’ll keep what they have.”
State Farm spokesman Dick Luedke said Thursday, “Our intention is to continue to do business in Mississippi. Of course in Mississippi, just like in any other state where we do business, we constantly evaluate the market and the risk that exists in the market, and we determine the extent to which we can make new promises while still remaining confident that we can keep existing promises.”
State Farm has a 30.7 percent share of the Mississippi homeowner-insurance market.
Before its decision to pull back, Harrell said, “State Farm was the biggest player left that was still writing wind everywhere on the Gulf Coast.”
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