25 October 2021News

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner blasts “hurricane tax”

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has added his voice to calls to drop the so-called “hurricane tax”, the Biden Build Back Better Tax proposals.

“On the face of it, the bill has nothing to do with insurance, and the White House promises that the plan will affect only those who earn more than $400,000 a year. However, an unintended consequence is that, if passed as written, it would drive insurance prices higher, causing consumers at all income levels to suffer financially,”  he writes in a new opinion column.

He also cites  research from the R Street Institute that found that the change could add as much as $240 annually to the average Mississippi family’s property insurance premiums.

Noting American insurers reliance on reinsurance, he adds: “Bermuda re/insurers paid a total of $22 billion to rebuild the US Gulf and Florida Coasts from seven hurricanes of 2004-2005, including nearly 30% of insured losses from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.   The Bermuda market has paid more than $209 billion to US policyholders and insurance companies during the five years from 2016 to 2020.

“This kind of reliable protection is critical for states like Mississippi that face the potential for strong storms each year.”

Chaney is just the latest to speak against the changes. In September, the former Florida House Representative Dennis Ross also  urged the administration to reconsider.