Natural disasters can be devastating to communities, but they serve as a poignant reminder that insurance is important. With the recent flooding in Mississippi, I find it necessary to discuss this issue.

Mississippi has approximately 62,500 flood policies in force via the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As regulators, we have seen the need for private carriers to enter the market to bolster competition and provide options for consumers. While the NFIP does offer a product that protects the consumer from flooding, the rates are simply too high and the program seems to be unsustainable.

Mississippi plans to be a forerunner in the flood insurance market by issuing a regulation to address an insurer’s ability to utilize flex-rating. Flex-rating will not only allow insurers rating flexibility after a flood event, but more importantly, it will provide the carriers the ability to rate a property accurately. Insurers should be excited for the opportunity to engage in the flood arena and to offer consumers peace of mind.

Ryan Blakeney, MHS

Deputy Director – Consumer Affairs

Mississippi Insurance Department

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