CL – Chaney: Windpool fund boost risky

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, lawmakers are attempting to pump more money into the windpool insurance fund while Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says the state program is at risk of growing too large.

“The Coast has got to recover, but we can’t recover from robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Chaney said.

Chaney said adding $20 million into the fund wouldn’t necessarily equate to lower rates for coastal homeowners and businesses. A 10-member board would have to agree to lower rates, he said.

The idea behind the 2006 legislation establishing the state windpool program was to create a stopgap measure for wind insurance until the private market stabilized. That measure called for spending $20 million over four years from premium taxes that otherwise would have gone into the general fund.