New company offers Coast wind coverage

Backers were frustrated with insurance market



Mississippians frustrated with the Coast insurance market introduced a new insurance company Wednesday that will sell homeowner policies with wind coverage in South Mississippi.

Through hurricane season, Coastal American Insurance Co. will offer 1,000 policies with wind coverage and no geographic restrictions to homeowners in the six South Mississippi counties. In three to four years the company could sell 3,000 to 4,000 South Mississippi policies with wind.

Policies without wind also will be offered in South Mississippi, and standard homeowner policies with wind coverage will be offered in the rest of the state.

The way all this came about was I got highly aggravated with my insurance costs,” said businessman Ned Dolese, who owns property on the Coast and is a Coastal American investor. “We couldn’t make the market respond to our special needs. The crisis is the cost of insurance has gotten so high, the average person has a hard time paying the premium.”

He said homeowners will pay less for Coastal American policies with wind than they would through the state wind pool, insurer of last resort for South Mississippi.

Coastal American expects to start selling policies Monday through seven independent insurance agencies, representing six companies, with Coast offices. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney joined company investors at a news conference in his Gulfport office Wednesday to announce the company’s arrival.
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