Attorney general says insurance case headed back to state court

Biloxi & South Mississippi Sun Herald
March 13, 2006

Mississippi's lawsuit over insurance companies' refusal to pay certain Hurricane Katrina claims is back in state court.

Attorney General Jim Hood on Monday said a decision could come within weeks now that the case has been remanded to Hind County Chancery Court. He said the insurance companies used a delay tactic by taking the case to federal court.

"We never anticipated they would be successful in dragging this out for six months," Hood said during a news conference at his office.

Hood's lawsuit contends a standard homeowner's policy should cover hurricane damage, whether the loss is from wind or wind-driven water, a storm surge.

The suit specifically challenges an insurance clause that says hurricane coverage does not extend to flooding losses, including those caused by high tides and storm surge.

Insurance companies said homeowners should have bought additional flood protection. Hood has estimated the storm surge damage could reach $2 billion to $4 billion.

Copyright © 2006 by Associated Press

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