MS Homeowners Insurance Bill of Rights

Commissioner Mike Chaney


I spoke with several Senate Insurance Committee Members and they said they were being told insurance rates would go up if this legislation is passed. That is not true so we asked Commissioner Chaney for help and to send the Committee Members this letter. His answer was "no".

Re: SB2158 - Burden of Proof

Dear  Senate Insurance Committee Members:

When hurricane Katrina roared across the state of Mississippi in 2005 over 60,000 homes were destroyed and in most cases, reduced to only a slab. Insurance companies denied most homeowners claims by stating the damage was caused by water which is not covered in a homeowners’ policy.

In 2007, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled the insurance company has the “burden” to prove an exclusion in the policy or they are obligated to settle the claim. This ruling was consistent with a 1972 court ruling after hurricane Camille in 1969.
Since the court ruling legislation has been filed to codify the courts language in to the MS Code.

I support this legislation because I believe the courts are correct in placing the burden on the insurance company. The homeowner has no role in how policy language is written, hiring the claims adjuster and deciding if a claim is paid or denied. Additionally, codifying the courts language would protect all homeowners in the state when there homeowners claim is wrongly denied, not just homeowners on the gulf coast. Since we are adopting the courts language, insurance companies will have a difficult time attacking the legislation

There are two other benefits to Mississippi homeowners if SB2158 is passed:

    1•    Homeowners rates will not increase by adopting this court ruling to legislation. Insurance companies cannot justify a rate increase base on a court ruling or legislation. The only way homeowners rates could increase is if insurance companies would have to pay more homeowners claims. I believe this was the intent of the MS Supreme Court.
   2 •    Any court ruling can be over turned or have the language weakened on appeal. In the case of USAA vs Minor the jury decided USAA did not meet the “burden of proof” and awarded the verdict to Minor. This a clear example where “burden of proof” worked for the homeowner but also set the stage for an appeal. Codifying SB2158 would prevent these appeals from happening and most importantly not allow the insurance companies to recycle the ruling as they did after in Katrina when the initial court ruling was established after Camille.

In closing, this legislation will protect homeowners being stuck between the insurance companies and the courts and afford them swifter justice when their homeowner’s claim is wrongly denied. I would appreciate your support in passing SB2158

Commissioner Mike Chaney and Tate Reeves-  said they would not sign this letter


Bad news! SB2225 died in the Senate Insurance Committee without a vote again. Chairman Carmichael brought it up for a vote but the Committee voted to table the bill. They use this maneuver so they do not have to show their true loyalty to the insurance lobby. I did address the Committee but only 3 committee members showed up. Here is a summary of my comments. I have started reaching out to supporters to raise funds. My plan is to run ads in each committee member 's hometown newspaper at the start of next legislative session. The Sun Herald story was the only press we got locally and on article in South Carolina. I submitted an opinion to each newspaper in the state as well. Below under each committee member's name is there 2012 Campaign Report they filed with the SOS.

March 16, 2012:

HB449 Passed the House 116 -3 Tuesday. We are now focusing on convincing the Senate Committee Chairman Carmichael to give us a vote. The bill has died here the past (5) years but I am hopeful the support of Lt. Governor Tate Reeves will make a difference.

Feb. 2010:

Commissioner Mike Chaney is supporting HB203. In fact, he helped Rep. Jones draft the language for the bill. HB203 passed the House on 2-10-2011. We had several coast lawmakers vote against the bill, but it passed 89-26. See how they voted here!


Thank you Commissioner for your support

Read full statement from Commissioner Chaney - Here 
This turned out to be a lie. He will not help us get a vote


Website Builder