State Farm won’t renew some Miss. coast policies

State Farm Insurance Cos. won’t renew homeowners policies within 1,000 feet of the beach on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, an area devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the company said Wednesday.

State Farm spokesman Jonathan Freed said the change will not take effect until after hurricane season is over Nov. 30.

Freed said no more than 892 policy holders would be affected by the 1,000-foot limit. However, he said about 4,000 more customers living between 1,000 feet and 2,500 feet of the water won’t have their wind coverage renewed.

Following a high-profile legal battle with Attorney General Jim Hood, State Farm stopped writing new policies in Mississippi in February 2007, saying the state’s “legal and political environment is simply untenable.”

A spokeswoman for Hood said he wanted to review a letter State Farm wrote Chaney Wednesday before commenting.

In the letter, the company referred again to its concerns about the state’s legal environment and noted that Hood “filed a civil suit less than 20 days after Hurricane Katrina struck.”

After pursuing a criminal investigation, Hood worked out an agreement with State Farm in January 2007 calling for an end to the criminal probe and for State Farm to pay millions more in claims. However, he and the company have continued to clash.

AP
6/11/8