Wind pool proposal heads to Barbour

A bill propping up the state wind pool with an extra $20 million is headed to Gov. Haley Barbour’s desk after clearing the Legislature Monday during the ongoing special session.

The appropriation for the Mississippi Insurance Department for next fiscal year passed both chambers of the Legislature easily, clearing the Mississippi Senate in a unanimous vote Monday. It also easily passed the House of Representatives. The measure contains $40 million, including the extra $20 million, for reinsurance programs aimed at offsetting premium increases in the wind pool, which is the insurance of last resort for homeowners who can’t get private-market wind coverage.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who supported the extra money, said Monday that exactly how much a difference the funds will make won’t be known until he gets new rates on reinsurance, but it will help.