Mississippi Officials Mulling Suit to Delay Flood Rate Hikes

Mississippi officials are discussing a lawsuit aimed at delaying the onset of flood insurance premium rate hikes before bills start going out Oct. 1.

State insurance commissioner Mike Chaney told a state Legislature Budget Committee hearing Monday that he and the state Attorney General’s “have been having discussions about filing the lawsuit.” Chaney said the suit, if filed, would be in Federal Court in a Gulf Coast state.

The lawsuit would seek an injunction based on allegation of illegal taking. Chaney said at the hearing that under the Biggert-Waters Act, rates for some homeowners will increase over 1500 percent for some Mississippi residents.

Mississippi was remapped in 2009 after Katrina, and Base Flood Elevations changed. “Many homes were rebuilt after Katrina to the then-existing flood elevations and are caught in new elevation requirements and new zones,” Chaney testified.