State Farm offering mitigation discounts

Beginning May 1, State Farm will offer discounts for homes and rental property strengthened against wind damage.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said Tuesday he has approved State Farm’s plan to offer the mitigation discounts. They will apply to new construction and retrofits to older homes.

Discounts range from 8 to 30 percent, depending on the location of a home, condominium unit or rental property and construction techniques used. The highest discount is available only to policyholders south of Interstate 10 who meet strict guidelines for new construction, including hurricane mitigation measures, set by the insurance industry’s Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Chaney said State Farm’s offer of mitigation credits is a significant step for South Mississippi insureds.

State Farm will send more information to policyholders in mid-March about how the program works.

“We did this voluntarily,” State Farm spokesman David Majors said. “Nobody mandated this. We have similar programs in Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina.”

State Farm has dropped wind coverage for Coast customers who live within 2,500 feet of the Mississippi Sound, or bays that spill into it. But the company still has around 20,000 policies with wind coverage in South Mississippi. Also, agents are being allowed to write one new policy for each policy they lose.

By ANITA LEE – calee@sunherald.com

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