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Mississippi Insurers Named In Suit Over Flood Exclusions

Katrina's devastation may be on more than one front - and it's apparently not just nature this time.  Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has filed suit in Chancery Court, alleging that certain insurance companies, including Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, Allstate Property & Casualty Company and United Services Automobile Association are taking undue advantage of Hurricane Katrina victims by asking them to sign statements acknowledging that they suffered flood damage.

Flood damage is not a covered peril on a standard homeowners insurance policy.  Federally available flood insurance is about the only way to get coverage. 

Among others, Nationwide denies the allegations.  In a statement to Reuters, Nationwide said, "The allegations made by the Mississippi attorney general are unfounded. Our company is absolutely not asking policyholders to acknowledge damage is flood-related in order to receive a check for living expenses."  At the time this post was made, none of the insurance companies had a statement about this suit on their website. 

What is perhaps more interesting is the company's next statement, which according to Reuters, Nationwide said:  "The company said policyholders were told upfront that their homeowner insurance did not cover flooding."

You decide. 

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Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, September 17, 2005


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