Two years after Hurricane Katrina, state governments along the Gulf Coast and in other storm-prone areas of the country are facing a fundamental problem--how to keep homeowners insurance available and affordable in places deemed riskier all the time.
Private insurers are raising rates or pulling out completely in areas where costly seaside development continues and where, according to forecasters, powerful storms are likely to hit again and cause huge property losses.
Under pressure from residents who can no longer find affordable homeowners insurance--or any homeowners insurance--states are scrambling to fill the void left by the private firms. In some cases, they are taking on more of the insurance burden themselves and, in other cases, courting insurers with tax breaks and other incentives in an attempt to expand access and drive prices down.
But a popular solution has yet to emerge.
The Gulf Coast, still nowhere near recovery after Katrina left more than $40 billion in insurance claims in its wake, remains the center of attention. The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi met with insurance executives last Sunday (Aug. 26) in Biloxi, Miss., to discuss the coverage crisis and call attention to the scope of the problem.
Read the full report Home Insurance Woes Mount in Coastal States on the Stateline.org Web site.