State Farm raising rates in some coastal counties

Beginning in mid-February, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. will raise homeowner insurance rates 19.5 percent in the three Coast counties.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney approved the rate increase, rejecting State Farm's request for a 45 percent rate hike along the Coast. New rates will apply only for current policyholders because State Farm is writing no new business in the three Coast counties.

Chaney said Monday that Allstate is requesting a 65 percent rate hike statewide. The Mississippi Insurance Department has asked for additional information from Allstate in reviewing the rate proposal. Chaney's office did the same with State Farm before agreeing to the lower increase.

Chaney announced State Farm's increase in a news release sent out Monday afternoon.

"To limit potential future increases and ensure rate stability in catastrophe-prone areas, the law allows insurers to charge consumers a reasonable rate," Chaney said in the release. "I would have preferred that there be no rate increases at this time, but our role is to make sure the rates requested are not excessive and are justified and actuarially sound. I believe we have fulfilled that role."

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