House passes insurance discounts for strong homes

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi House members want insurance companies to offer discounts on costly hurricane coverage in five southern counties, including three on the coast.

House Bill 1410, passed Tuesday, requires insurers to offer price breaks by July 2013. Discounts could go to single-family homes and some manufactured homes for meeting strong-house standards in the current building code, those established by the Institute for Business and Home Safety or other state-approved standards.

Republican Rep. Scott DeLano of Gulfport says Mississippi needs uniform standards to allow homeowners to shop for better insurance rates.

The bill applies to Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River and Stone counties.

Mississippi is the last state along the Gulf of Mexico with no discounts for stronger construction, although some insurers now offer them voluntarily.

The bill goes to the Senate.