Facing “continued volatility and severity of homeowners insurance claims in Alabama, ” Farmers Insurance is opting out of coverage for rental properties in Mobile and Baldwin counties and raising rates statewide, the Mobile Press-Register reported at the end of July.
The decision is the latest in a stream of coverage cuts and increased costs that have hit the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The Press-Register reports that insurers have dropped more than 50, 000 wind policies since that storm that caused heavy damage in Baldwin County, followed the next year by coast-devastating Hurricane Katrina.
Rates also have jumped in the same time period. Farmers, for instance, has bumped up rates three times since 2009, totaling more than 50 percent with this year’s expected 35 percent, the paper reported.
Meanwhile the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety rated building codes in several hurricane prone states, giving Florida a 95 out of a possible 100 points, but ranking Georgia at 66, Alabama at 18 and Mississippi at 4, according to a report in the Augusta Chronicle.
By Nedra Bloom